I went to the movies and it was a wonderful excuse to visit the New World Bistro Bar recently. Since it was a beautiful summer night I thought their BLT salad sounded divine. It was a lovely salad and so I have created my own version, which is a lot more muscular.
NWBB made a much more beautiful presentation of the salad I must say. It was a lighter affair altogether, with a whisper of the mayonnaise lightly coating the lettuce leaves, a few hints of tomato and about four dime-sized pieces of bacon. That last element was just plain stinginess if you want to know my bare knuckled opinion. The salad was surrounded by a slice of bread that had been cut into points and had been licked by a flame just enough to make a fine black lacy char on the surface. This was so perfectly done that it was captivating. The aroma hinted at roasted marshmallows and it added an accurate taste image of toast, even though the bread was not toasted. I loved it.
I highly recommend that you start with their version and then try your own.
My version is much heavier, but also delicious and it served as a full meal. The salad is just summer in a bowl, and I think there is all the room for personal preference that a BLT sandwich provides. My first attempt started with the tomatoes, which I dressed with the mayonnaise, tossed and set aside while I quickly prepared the other ingredients. I toasted Italian bread, the equivalent of about one and a half slices, and cut it into bite size pieces. Then I browned Canadian bacon to bring out more bacony flavor and avoid the fattiness of bacon strips and finally tore the lettuce.
I gently tossed the lettuce with the tomatos and spotted my new jar of horseradish so I put a little scoop in at that point. I added salt and pepper. It will probably be a good idea to put the horseradish in with the mayo next time to let it spread more evenly through the salad. I dropped in the toasty croutons and gently turned everything to mix them in and chopped the Canadian bacon before piling it on top. What it lacks in beauty it more than makes up for in flavor and heartiness. Putting all those traditional sandwich flavors into a mound of lettuce is simply a wonderful idea no matter how you portion out the various other ingredients.
I plan to explore many many more versions.