BLT SALAD GOES SMOKEY
We know smoked bacon is a favorite which is why we wanted to include a great recipe for fresh produce you may have available. This is our take on the BLT salad featuring smoked bacon, homegrown lettuce and tomatoes, as well as a homemade dressing and Naan croutons. Don’t forget to check out our technique on smoking pork belly which is super easy and fast https://www.smokinlicious.com/blog/homemade-smoked-bacon/ for the ultimate homemade smoked bacon.
I believe a salad is only as good as the dressing you top it with. That is why homemade is so much better than any store bought, even those with limited ingredients and a claim to freshness. Make it yourself and you can guarantee freshness and flavor.
To start our dressing for the smoked BLT salad, add 4 tablespoons of sour cream to a medium size bowl. Now add 3 tablespoons of your favorite mayonnaise, a healthy grind of fresh ground pepper, a ½ teaspoon of minced garlic and ¼ cup of freshly diced chives. To dilute the dressing so it can be poured, start with 3 tablespoons of milk or cream and whisk well. Add additional milk or cream until you reach the consistency you prefer.
Crispy Bacon & Croutons
With the creamy chive dressing made, place in the refrigerator to chill while you begin the next steps for the smoked BLT salad.
If you have your smoked bacon ready, slice to the thickness you prefer. Place the slices on a sheet pan and crisp in the oven at 350°F. Timing for the bacon will depend on how crisp you want the outcome; plan 15 minutes for less crisp and 20–25 minutes for crispy.
While the bacon is cooking, take Naan and slice into small squares. Coat the cut pieces with a bit of oil and toast in the oven with the bacon until crisp as well; about 15 minutes. Remove both the croutons and bacon and allow to cool until they can be handled.
Tasting Notes: Feel free to change to any favorite bread for the croutons. Just be sure to toast in a single layer with a little oil until crunchy
Assembling & Plating the Salad
Once the dressing, Naan croutons, and crisp bacon are ready, it is time to assemble the other ingredients for our salad. This starts with our homegrown lettuce. I am using three types of lettuce: romaine, buttercrisp and red leaf. Gently tear or cut into ribbons. Add these to the center of a serving platter. Along one side of the lettuce, place your Naan croutons and cut tomatoes. For my tomatoes, I’m using homegrown cherry which only need to be sliced in half. To the other side of the lettuce, I place the smoked crispy bacon which I diced.
As you can see, the components of the Smoked BLT Salad are very simple but highly flavorful. Using fresh produce and herbs makes a big difference. I prefer to plate the salad after mixing individual portions in a bowl and tossing with dressing. Start by adding lettuce, smoked bacon, tomatoes, and croutons in a medium bowl. Add the desired dressing — usually 2–3 tablespoons is perfect- and toss with tongs. Then plate. Tangy, smokey freshness is all yours! Enjoy!