Charred BLT Salad with a Pesto Vinaigrette

Happy Friday friends!

We had my family over for dinner last night and marked the occasion by firing up our grill, a hand-me-down from my parents, for the first time! It was great to have my Dad on hand to teach Joe the ins and outs of the grill that he has mastered over the last 10 years.  We’re excited about using this puppy all the time this spring and summer.  DSC_0465

These puppies were banished to the yard when the smell of meat started to fill the air.  DSC_0463

Fully in the grilling spirit, I decided we’d grill everything for dinner including steaks, potatoes and our salad, the Charred BLT Salad with a Pesto Vinaigrette.  This salad is based on the classic BLT sandwich with bacon and tomatoes. We grilled the tomatoes in foil  and finished the salad with cheese that melts as it hits the warm lettuce.  If you’ve never had grilled romaine I recommend you give it a try because it’s delicious and a crowd pleaser. The grill adds a lovely smokiness and the high heat releases great flavor in the romaine.

What to buy (serves 6):

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling on lettuce
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 romaine hearts, halved lengthwise
  • 8 strips bacon, cooked until crispy and crumbled
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated

for the pesto vinaigrette:

  • 2 tablespoons kale pesto (or whatever pesto you like)
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard

What to do:

  • to make vinaigrette stir all ingredients until combined
  • make an aluminum foil packet large enough for the tomatoes and sprinkle them with salt, pepper and 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • preheat grill to medium high heat
  • drizzle cut sides of lettuce with olive oil and place lettuce, cut side down, on a grill rack coated with cooking spray
  • wrap tomatoes in foil and add to grill, cooking for 10-15 minutes or until tomatoes shrink and are soft to the touch
  • cook romaine side for 5 minutes or until the leaves begin to wilt and are marked with grill marks, remove to a platter
  • top romaine with  cheese, bacon, tomatoes and pesto vinaigrette






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