One of my all-time favorite summer meals is a BLT sandwich with a side of sweet corn. I grew up eating it on a weekly basis during the summer and now, especially when tomato season is at it’s peak, I crave like no other.
So when I came home from our weekend in Iowa to my heirloom tomato plant bursting with ripe tomatoes, I knew it was time to satisfy my cravings for a BLT. The problem, though, with making a BLT is that you really only need one tomato for a few sandwiches. This was definitely not going to take care of my abundance of tomatoes.
I had been planning on making a more traditional panzanella with just tomatoes but figured, why not turn the BLT into a bread salad?
Panzanella is perfect for people who love the “good stuff” in salads. You know, everything except the lettuce. Except since the “L” in BLT’s is imperative, this panzanella does have lettuce. And while I usually just use mayo on my BLT’s, I made a lighter buttermilk dressing for this salad which was ideal for not weighing the bread chunks down.
This was such a perfect summer meal, with a side of sweet corn of course. The chunks of grilled bread, the smoky bacon, sweet and juicy tomatoes, and the basil-specked buttermilk dressing – all just perfect together. This would also work well as a side dish. In fact, it would be perfect to bring to a potluck or barbecue. Enjoy!
- 1 loaf french bread
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 oz bacon cooked and roughly chopped
- 3 large tomatoes cut into bite-sized chunks
- 1 romaine heart roughly chopped (about 3 cups)
- For the dressing:
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons plain yogurt or sour cream
- juice of half a lemon
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- pepper to taste
- Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
- Cut baguette into bite-sized chunks.
- Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Place chunks of baguette into a mesh grill pan and grill for 5-8 minutes, turning every couple of minutes until lightly charred on each side. If you don't have a grill pan you can keep the chunks larger and grill slices of bread directly on the grill for about 1 minute on each side, and then cut into smaller chunks once grilled.
- In large bowl, combine bread, chopped bacon, tomatoes, and romaine lettuce.
- To make the dressing, combine all dressing ingredients in small mason jar and shake until well combined.
- Drizzle over bread and vegetables and toss well to combine.
- Serve immediately and enjoy!