Monday, August 18, 2008

B.L.T. Salad with Basil Mayo Dressing

B.L.T. Salad with Basil Mayo Dressing and Provolone and Roasted Pepper Crisps
I don't think you can go wrong with a dressing that includes bacon drippings!

Salad
1/2 pound bacon
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil
4 slices French bread, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 pound romaine lettuce - rinsed, dried, and torn into bite-size pieces
1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered

1. Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and set aside, reserving 2 tablespoons of the drippings.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the reserved bacon drippings, mayonnaise, vinegar and basil and let dressing stand, covered, at room temperature.
3. In a large skillet over medium heat, toss the bread pieces with the salt and pepper. Drizzle with the oil, continue tossing and cook over medium-low heat until golden brown.
4. In a large bowl mix together the romaine, tomatoes, bacon and croutons. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well.

Crisps
2 pitas, sliced in half to make 4 round pieces
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 12-ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained and cut into strips
4 slices lemon
1 clove garlic, sliced
1 cup grated provolone

Heat broiler to high. Arrange the pitas on a baking sheet, cut-side up. Brush with 2 tablespoons of the oil, then sprinkle with the paprika, oregano, and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Place under broiler to crisp, about 2 minutes; set aside. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a skillet. Add the peppers, lemon, garlic, and the remaining salt. Saute until the peppers are hot and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Spread the peppers evenly over the pita halves and sprinkle with the provolone. Return to broiler and cook until the provolone is melted, about 3 minutes. Cut into strips, if desired.

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