One of my very favorite meals EVER, in the history of the world, is a bacon, avocado, tomato sandwich with garlic mayo and balsamic reduction on crusty, thick-sliced country bread.
This salad, however, is a close second. It takes most of those ingredients (minus the mayo) and puts them in salad form. Homemade toasted bread croutons, sliced garden cherry tomatoes, chopped crispy bacon, and creamy avocado, all topped with ultra thick and flavorful balsamic reduction. This is summer lunch at its finest.
When I was two years old, we lived in a small house in Richmond, Virginia, and we had a cherry tomato plant in our backyard. I LOVED those cherry tomatoes and would grab as many as my chubby little fingers could reach.
My taste for tomatoes hasn't changed much since then.
Earlier in the week I bragged about all the amazing food I ate this summer in D.C.
I've been home in N.C. for almost a week now, and I have to say that the food here is just as good. I didn't realize how much I missed it--cooking at home that is.
Since I've been home, I've made a Mexican quinoa casserole with fresh corn, red and yellow peppers, and jalapeños, and orange blossom brioche french toast. I've eaten peaches and blueberries with yogurt, big summer salads with tomatoes, freshly picked garlicky green beans, and Maple View ice cream.
It's all been so fresh and so delicious, and I don't want it to end.
I think that's one of the things I love most about summer--how accessible and delicious the food is. Whether its picking tomatoes and mint from my garden or buying okra and peaches at the farmer's market, there's an abundance of fresh, good food that just doesn't exist for most of us in the colder months of the year.
My goal is to enjoy as much of it as I can in the next few weeks, starting with this B.A.L.T panzanella salad…….
B.A.L.T. Panzanella Salad
3-4 strips of cooked bacon, crumbled
half an avocado, cubed
half a pint of cherry tomatoes, halved
2 slices thick country bread, toasted and cut into cubes
2 cups each arugula and spinach, or salad greens of your choice.
balsamic reduction (recipe here)
Toss together the bacon, avocado, tomatoes, bread cubes, and arugula and spinach. Drizzle with balsamic reduction. Dig in!
*This recipe serves two, but can be easily doubled.