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BLT Salad

From the book Cooking Thin with Chef Kathleen: 200 Easy Recipes for Healthy Weight Loss by Kathleen Daelemans

BLT SALAD
4 servings

Waiting for tomato season must be what it's like waiting for the baby to be born, and when drip-down-your-arm good tomatoes finally do arrive in the markets, they aren't around long enough. I can't get them worked into menus fast enough. In peak tomato season, I've been known to eat BLT's several times in the same week. So, embarrassed by my obsession with the sandwich, only because neighbors were beginning to talk, I camp up with this clever variation, the BLT salad. Not able to part with the classic BLT ingredient list, I left in the bacon, lettuce, and tomato and added a few more flavors, too.

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/4 pounds small white or red new potatoes
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Coarse-grained salt and cracked black pepper
  • 1 large sweet onion, peeled, cored, and cut into 4 thick slices
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (or other vinegar you like)
  • 2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 3 medium tomatoes, peeled, cored, and cut into large chunks
  • 1/4 pound bacon, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch strip
  • 12 cups loosely packed washed salad greens such as arugula or a variety of mixed greens
  • 2 ounces crumbled blue cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425°.
  2. Cut potatoes into quarters (larger potatoes) or halves (smaller ones).
  3. Place potatoes in plastic bag and pour in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil; seal bag.
  4. Shake and toss bag until potatoes are evenly coated. Pour onto cookie sheet.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Place onion slices in bag you used for potatoes.
  7. Don't add any oil -- there will be enough left in the bag.
  8. Turn until onions are coated; do not break up onion slices.
  9. Place on cookie sheet with the potatoes and bake, turning once, until potatoes and onions are golden, 40 to 45 minutes.
  10. Meanwhile, place tomatoes in a medium bowl.
  11. To make the dressing, whisk together remaining 4 tablespoons olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and chopped basil in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
  12. Pour about one-fourth of dressing over tomatoes. Set aside.
  13. In a large nonstick pan, over medium-high heat, cook bacon until brown and crispy.
  14. Drain on paper towels. When potatoes and onions are cooked, divide among 4 serving plates.
  15. In a large bowl place salad greens and toss with remaining dressing.
  16. Taste and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper as necessary.
  17. Arrange salad greens on the serving plates.
  18. Top with tomatoes, bacon, and blue cheese.
  19. A sweet onion is an onion that's bred to be sweet. T
  20. They're different in nature than cooking onions, which are stronger in flavor and not usually sweet at all. Common sweet varieties include Walla Walla, Granex, Bermuda, Vidalia, Texas Sugar Babies, and Maui onions. And of course they're widely available. I wouldn't send you on a wild goose chase for an onion.

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