I love a BLT. Mayo is sort of implied when you’re having a BLT, right? And any sandwich in which mayo is integral is okay by me. But have you ever had a BLAT? A BLAT is a BLT sandwich with avocado, and it’s delicious.
Would you believe that I used to think I didn’t like avocado? I must have had some bad guacamole, or something, and I automatically concluded that I didn’t like avocado. But then I had whipped avocado about a year ago at a restaurant, which was just pure avocado, maybe mixed with a bit of lime juice, and I realized, finally, how awesome avocado is. Now I try to incorporate it into as many meals as I can, and a BLAT salad was my most recent avocado-enhanced creation.
OK, I didn’t actually create this recipe. I found it on Allrecipes.com, but the avocado was my addition, thankyouverymuch. This salad has everything you’d find in a BLAT: lettuce, tomato, bacon, bread (in the form of croutons), and, my favorite touch, mayo (in the form of a basil-mayo dressing). You don’t normally find basil in a BLAT, but it’s really delicious in this dressing. All of the elements in this dish complement each other perfectly. It’s one of my favorite salads.
Adapted from BLT Salad with Basil-Mayo Dressing
1/2 pound bacon
1/2 loaf Italian bread, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil
1 large heart romaine, chopped
2 vine-ripened tomatoes, cut into wedges
2 ripe avocadoes, chopped and tossed with a couple squeezes of lemon or lime juice
Chop bacon into bite-size pieces and place in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown and crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove bacon to a paper-towel lined plate. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the bacon drippings in a small bowl, then drain most of the rest, leaving enough drippings in pan to thinly but evenly coat the bottom.
Add cubed bread to pan, still over medium heat. Toss to coat evenly with bacon drippings and cook until bread has reached the desired crunchiness for croutons, stirring frequently, about 5 to 10 minutes. Season with pepper to taste, then allow to cool.
In a small bowl, whisk together the 2 tablespoons of reserved bacon drippings, mayonnaise, vinegar, and basil.
Divide chopped romaine between two plates, then top with tomatoes, bacon, and avocado. Scatter croutons over the top. Serve immediately with basil-mayo dressing.