Bonkers for BLTs

 

I love BLTs.

There’s just something about the combo of crispy bacon, juicy tomatoes and rich mayonnaise. At this time of year, when locally grown tomatoes become available in the farmers market — and a few ripen on the patio tomato plant I purchased in the spring — BLTs become a standard menu item at our house. More recently, we’ve had BALTs — bacon, avocado, lettuce and tomato. Yum!

For the past week or so, the following recipe has been sitting on my desk. I’ve been meaning to take it home to try, but somehow here it still sits. Since you can’t go wrong with this combination of flavors, I’m passing it along even though I haven’t tried it myself. When I do make it — which will be shortly — I might be tempted to throw some avocado in this, too.

BLT Salad

Cook 12 ounces rotini pasta according to package directions. Drain and toss with ½ cup milk in a large bowl; set aside.

Cook 12 ounces bacon in a large skillet over medium high heat (or in the microwave, or as we do at our house, on the grill) until crisp; drain on paper towels.

Discard all but 3 tablespoons drippings from the pan. Add 3 medium tomatoes, cut into chunks, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme and 1 clove minced garlic to the pan and toss until warmed through; season with salt and pepper.

Crumble bacon into small pieces, setting aside some for garnish. Toss remaining bacon and tomato mixture with the pasta.

Combine ½ cup mayonnaise and ¼ cup sour cream (or Greek yogurt) and 3 tablespoons chopped chives or scallion greens. Fold dressing into pasta. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add 5 cups chopped romaine hearts; toss again to coat. Garnish with reserved bacon and additional chives. Serve at room temperature.

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