This salad tastes just like a classic BLT in salad form, minus the mayo and with the added bonus of briny Kalamata olives and fresh mozzarella.
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 large garlic clove, peeled and put through a press or minced
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- A few good turns freshly ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/3 pound thick, smoky bacon, cut into large squares (about 3-4 strips)
- Fine sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper
- 10 ounces crusty bread, such as Acme Levain, crusts removed, sliced thickly and torn into 1-2\” chunks (4 cups)
- 3/4 pound ripe tomatoes (heirloom, cherry, dry-farmed, or a combination), cut into large chunks or slices
- 1/2 cup Pearls Specialties Pitted Kalamata Olives, drained
- 1/2cup small mozzarella balls, drained
- Handful basil leaves, torn if large
- 1 small head little gems lettuce (baby romaine), washed and broken into small leaves
- To make the dressing, place the olive oil, vinegar, pressed garlic, salt, and pepper in a small jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake until combined.
- To make the salad, in a wide skillet set over medium heat, warm the olive oil until it shimmers. Add the bacon and cook, stirring frequently, until golden and crispy, about 5 minutes. Remove the bacon and let drain on paper towels. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the oil from the pan and reduce the heat to low. Add the bread pieces to the pan and cook, turning frequently, until golden and crispy, 2-3 minutes. Remove from the pan and let cool.
- In a large bowl, toss the toasted bread with the tomatoes, letting it sit for a few minutes to absorb some of the tomato juice, then gently toss in the bacon, olives, mozzarella, basil, lettuce leaves and as much salad dressing as you feel the salad needs. Taste, adding more salt or pepper if you like. Serve immediately.