BLT Salad

by Susan on September 21, 2017

 

BLT salad

This recipe right here is the perfect example of how a mainstream recipe can be made allergy-friendly yet still be insanely delicious. Sunny Anderson turned the classic BLT sandwich into a salad, and I went one step further and adapted the dish to be both gluten and dairy-free.

My husband loved this one so much he went so far as to describe this as the best salad he’d eaten in 10 years! I kid you not. The candied bacon and homemade dressing were both ridiculously good and very unique. It was so easy to tweak the recipe with gluten-free bread (for the croutons) and vegan mayonnaise without sacrificing an ounce of the flavor.

One note: I probably only used about 1/2 the total dressing, but I’m also not a big fan of overly dressed salads. I kept the extra to use for a lunch salad later this week!

BLT Salad
adapted from Sunny Anderson

1 head romaine lettuce, thinly sliced (about 6 cups)
1/2 cup chopped red onion
2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
4 slices gluten-free bread
1 tbs. coconut oil (or unsalted butter)

for the bacon:
1/4 cup packed palm sugar
1 tsp. paprika
grated zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
6 strips nitrite-free bacon
6 sprigs fresh thyme

for the dressing:
1/2 cup dairy-free mayonnaise (I like Hampton Creek)
1 tbs. maple syrup
4 tsp. whole-grain mustard
juice of 1/2 lemon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Combine the lettuce, onion and tomatoes in a large bowl; set aside.

Meanwhile, cut the bread into crouton-size cubes. Melt the oil or butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the bread cubes and toast, tossing, until golden, about 6 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Make the bacon: Mix the brown sugar, paprika, lemon zest and crushed pepper in a small bowl. Add the bacon and press to coat on both sides. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; place the thyme sprigs on the parchment paper, then lay a strip of bacon on top of each sprig. Bake until the bacon is caramelized and crisp, about 20 minutes. Let cool slightly on the baking sheet. Cut the bacon into bite-size bits using scissors; add to the bowl with the lettuce. Discard the thyme.

Make the dressing: Whisk the mayonnaise, syrup, mustard and lemon juice in a medium bowl. Add the dressing to the salad and toss. Sprinkle the croutons on top and serve.

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