BLT Salad with Creamy Sweet Onion Dressing

This salad has all the elements of a traditional BLT sandwich, along with some elevated flavors like a creamy dressing made with sweet onion and toasty garlic croutons. It makes a nice side dish to serve with grilled steak or barbecue chicken.

BLT Salad with Creamy Sweet Onion Dressing

BLT Salad with Creamy Sweet Onion Dressing

Yield: 4 first course servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

A delicious salad made with the ingredients of a classic BLT sandwich, including toasty croutons, and topped with a creamy, sweet onion dressing.

Ingredients

  • 4 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 medium head romaine lettuce (about 8 cups torn)
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes (halved lengthwise)
  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and cubed

For the croutons:

  • 1-1/2 cups diced Italian bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • Pinch of salt

For the dressing:

  • 2 to 4 tablespoons chopped sweet onion (see notes)
  • 1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons cream (or half-and-half)
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Fry the bacon in a large skillet until crisp. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and drain all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat from the pan.
  2. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Add the butter to the bacon fat and heat over medium heat. Add the smashed garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the garlic becomes fragrant, about 3 to 4 minutes.
  3. Remove the garlic from the pan, raise the heat to medium-high and add the bread cubes. Sprinkle with salt and toss to coat. Continue cooking for 1 to 2 minutes, just until the bread has absorbed all of the butter mixture.
  4. Transfer the croutons to a baking sheet and bake until crisp and lightly golden, about 4 to 6 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
  5. To make the dressing, place the chopped onion, garlic, mayonnaise, vegetable oil, cream, vinegar and water in the work bowl of a food processor or blender. Process until smooth and creamy. Season to taste with salt and pepper and transfer to a serving bowl (makes about 3/4 cup).
  6. Toss the lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, bacon, and croutons together in a salad bowl. Serve family-style and pass the dressing at the table.

Notes

If your onion is hot or has a bite, use the smaller quantity of 2 tablespoons (or even less) and add a little extra mayonnaise. If you have an exceptionally sweet onion, go with the full 4 tablespoons.