Friday, May 23, 2008

BLAT Salad

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.

BLAT Salad
Adapted from BLT Salad with Basil-Mayo Dressing

1/2 pound bacon
1/2 loaf Italian bread, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
Black pepper
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.

18 comments:

giz said...

I would make this sandwich in a heartbeat. The colours, the flavours AND the textures are so complimentary.

Grace said...

i'm an ardent avocado fan as well, and i'm in love with that picture. this is my kind of salad, all the way from the ingredients to the dressing to the name. "blat" just sounds fun. :)

Katie said...

Avocados must be really popular right now because they were on sale at the shops today for $1 each (normally around $2.80 each!) I'm not a HUGE fan, but I do enjoy a slithering of it on a sandwich with chicken and lettuce - but I don't like it in chunks or by itself.

I'm very strange lol!

Parker said...

Looks great. I love putting avocado in my salads and sandwiches...yummy and good for you.

noble pig said...

Oh wow, this looks unreal! Basil-mayo dressing and avocado...I'm sure it's perfect.

Peter M said...

I love the name, luv the novel approach to this salad, nicely photo'd!

bakingblonde said...

What a great idea! I love BLT's and avocado, what a great combination! Love it!

Kevin said...

That BLAT salad looks good. I have been enjoying avocados lately and I like the idea of adding them to a salad.

~Madeline~ said...

Oh my, this looks awesome! Sounds like the perfect salad for me. Bacon and mayo anything is just fine in my books.

michelle @ TNS said...

i love a blat. there's a bar near my apartment that makes 'em on texas toast...so good.

giz said...

You've been awarded

Brentwood Kitchen Shopper said...

I add avocado to any dish-it tastes great, has a lot of nutrients and if you are trying to be healthy, a great replacement for mayo.

Love the pictures!

Anonymous said...

You can also have a BLEAT salad and add some chopped hardboiled egg to it. mmmm....BLEAT and BLAT sandwiches are what i lived off of when i was travelling new zealand....how appropriate...

Cuisine Heart said...

This looks really tasty. Avocado is slowly growing on me (and I will probably be working with it more now that my sister is going vegetarian).

I didn't realize you were both in publishing and from MD (much like myself). I hope this is the beginning of a bloggerific food friendship.

Vicarious Foodie said...

Thanks for your comments everyone!

Cuisine Heart: What a coincidence to "meet" a fellow blogger who's in the same area AND the same profession! Awesome!

Patsyk said...

I totally have to make this salad! I love avocado, and this seems so simple and perfect for summer.

Elle said...

Your photos are just gorgeous! The salad is definitely one to try soon. it looks so fresh and light!

Deborah said...

I love avocados, and could eat them on basically anything. This salad looks amazing!