Seasoned to taste: Have your BLT bowling in a salad | Food and cooking

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LYNNE IRELAND Column

We kinda like acronyms. Sometimes it’s just more convenient, like saying “FODMAPS” instead of “fermentable oligo-, di-, mono-saccharides and polyols”. But sometimes it’s like a secret code. At this time of year, a certain secret code makes us salivate.

Three small letters, BLT, spell out another August giveaway. A large slice of tomato from the garden. Nueske Applewood Crispy Bacon. Local lettuce. Le Quartier multigrain toast. Real mayonnaise. BOOM. Or should we say “crunch, slurp, nibble”? Surely that drizzle of tomato juice on your forehead is a small price to pay for such satisfaction!

Like many longtime favorites, BLT has sparked protests over the “right” way to prepare or eat it. And the salty-smoky-sweet-juicy-crunchy combo is a springboard for variations. We therefore transform our BLTs into BLATs by adding avocado. Or maybe BLASTs, adding grilled salmon. The Orthodox thrill. Leave them, we say.

We even admire other innovations, like our friend Richard who recently said, “I love that my BLT is a salad with toast, sangria and Olympic volleyball. What a design! A BLT in a bowl! Less shirt stains, that’s for sure. So we researched BLT salad suggestions and got a bumper crop of recipes.

The one we love uses the oven to “make bacon,” then creates croutons from torn bread and melted bacon fat. It really is a BLAT salad, including avocado, but one that could easily be varied. The spectacular presentation on whole romaine leaves is lovely, but it’s easier to eat with chopped lettuce. Grape or cherry tomatoes could replace slicers. Cooked whole grains could be added to make a full meal “bowl”. Oven-roasting bacon tip: Place the slices on a metal cooling rack set in the baking sheet.


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