Spring has finally arrived in Atlanta and warm days always draw me outside to my patio and grill. This time of year, I cook several meals a week on the grill and this week New York strips were on the menu. Give me a grilled piece of meat paired with a salad of some kind and I’m a happy guy.
This salad, a twist on a classic summer sandwich, is always a hit. I particularly like the inclusion of toasted bread in this recipe. I would recommend adding the dressing to the bread and tomato mixture and letting it sit for 15 to 20 minutes before serving to let the bread absorb the flavors of the dressing. The toasted bread will maintain some crunch but will also be deliciously flavored by the dressing.
As we move into grilling season, try this salad as a fantastic accompaniment to most any grilled meal. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
10 ounces bacon, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus 1 teaspoon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 cups cherry or grape tomatoes
4 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons minced shallots
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
8 tablespoons reserved bacon grease
1 head of green leaf lettuce
3 scallions, green part only sliced
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. In a medium skillet, brown bacon over medium high heat. Remove bacon, drain, and crumble. Reserve grease.
3. Cut baguette into 3/4 inch cubes to measure 8 cups. Place cubes in a large bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Place bread on a baking sheet.
4. Coat tomatoes with 1 tsp olive oil. Place on baking sheet.
5. Place tomatoes and bread in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
6. Whisk together vinegar, honey, mustard, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, shallots, and thyme. Whisk in bacon grease until incorporated.
7. In a large bowl, toss tomatoes, bread, and dressing. Let mixture sit for 15 or 20 minutes.
8. Arrange lettuce leaves on 4 salad plates. Divide tomato and bread mixture on salad plates and top with crumbled bacon and scallions. Serve immediately.