Tuesday, August 21, 2012

BLT Pasta Salad

One (more) thing I’ll miss about summer is reaching into my garden for a nice, fat tomato to enjoy a BLT - practically no effort involved.  This salad has the same appeal, but you don’t have to butter and toast the bread, add condiments, etc.  A heaping serving on your plate makes a great meal.

I took this salad to a family reunion on Saturday, and not a speck was left.  I’ll take that as a sign of success.  I’ve seen this same idea all over the internet for more than a year now, but the recipes used seem to be a complicated combination of several unusual spices and ingredients.  That’s what I liked about this adaptation - most ingredients you already have at home, and you can tweak to your heart’s content.  

This is best assembled right before serving - but it’s still tasty after refrigerating.  I wouldn’t recommend adding avocado to the entire salad if there’s a chance you will be storing leftovers.  You could serve diced avocado in a small bowl on the side for those who enjoy it.

Fresh chives add just a hint of subtle onion flavor, but if you prefer - add sliced green onion.  For convenience, I cooked the pasta the night before and added the milk before refrigerating to keep it from sticking together.  Then all I had to do was mix the dressing, add everything, and toss. 

Several recipes called for Ranch dressing - but I opted to just add garlic salt and let the other flavors shine.  The bacon, fresh tomatoes, and avocado really came through that way.  Using romaine kept the lettuce from totally disintegrating in the mix.  If you are being careful with calories, skip the mayo and add greek yogurt - and substitute low-fat sour cream for full fat.  If you like mustard on your BLT’s - you could even add a little squirt to incorporate that flavor.  And if you are missing the toasted bread - why not try a few croutons? 

For the complete recipe, go to:

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