Can you believe that it is Memorial Day Weekend?
Neither can I!! For my family that means celebrating a long weekend (and hopefully much warmer weather than the south has been experiencing) and my hubbie’s birthday.
This BLT salad is perfect for this occasion. Not only is it a great accompaniment to any picnic or barbecue, it features bacon and bacon grease. GASP!! I know, it seems against my healthy living to use bacon grease. However, very little is used and it is better than any chemically made shortening or oil that is out on the market!
And honestly, this paired with a burger, well my husband is in carnivore heaven. And after all it is his birthday and I do believe in all things in moderation…so this is perfect for him and for all of us celebrating America–I mean bacon defines American food in some regions of this country 🙂 And let’s face it, it’s just DARN good.
Oh yes, you know you want it!! (You get a hefty serving of vegetables too–look at those tomatoes and lettuce and I was lucky enough to find spinach and carrot enriched campanelle pasta: I really didn’t buy the pasta for the nutritional value, just the color, but it sounds good, right?!)
And it is fairly easy to make. At least much easier than toasting a million pieces of bread at the precise moment so your BLT sandwich stays perfectly crisp. Who am I kidding, I adore bacon and a good BLT myself.
To make this salad versatile for an outdoor gathering (yes, it does contain mayo), nestle your serving bowl on top of a larger serving bowl that has been filled with ice or ice packs. This will keep bacteria from growing for at least 2 hours–probably much longer, especially if you switch out your ice or ice pack, I am just EXTRA cautious!!
I dare you to use a bit of bacon grease and whip this up for your next get together–your friends may kiss you, it is that good!! I know I will have a happy husband!
- 1 pound whole grain campenelle pasta (corkscrew and rotini noodles work just as well too)
- 1 head of romaine lettuce, chopped
- 2 pints of cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half
- 3 tablespoons chopped chives
- 1 pound nitrate free bacon
- ½ cup good quality mayonanaise
- 2 tablespoons minced shallots
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon bacon drippings
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Rinse under cold water--this is a needed step for this pasta salad to stop the cooking process and remove excess starch from pasta (normally rinsing pasta is a big no-no!) and drain well. Cool. (I do this by spreading on cookie sheet and tossing into fridge--quick and easy!)
- Dice the bacon and cook over medium high heat until bacon is crisp. Drain bacon on paper towels, reserving 1 tablespoon of grease.
- Mix together bacon drippings, mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar and salt and pepper to taste.
- Toss the dressing, cooked and cooled pasta, chives, tomatoes, lettuce and bacon bits together until evenly distributed.
This recipe was inspired by a recipe I saw in Cuisine, but have made my own tweaks based on preferences.