BLT salad with Avo-li from In Praise of Veg
Let’s call this one a ‘Sandwich Salad’, where the bread is, let’s face it, entirely optional. Even though it may seem like the avocado - or even the tomatoes – are the hero here, it’s the lettuce that I think bring it all together. Bacon is definitely an optional extra, if you’re that way disinclined – the ‘B’ could just as easily become an ‘M’ for ‘Marinated Tempeh’, which you can fry in a pan until golden and crispy. This may be audacious to say, but Avo-li may just usurp ‘Green Goddess’ as the go-to green salad dressing. Feel free to make a double batch and serve up as a dip for any manner of things – most likely your fingers.15 minutes PRINT
- 500 g mixed tomatoes I like a combo of heirloom and cherry
- 1 spring onion thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 100 g streaky bacon rashers
- ½ head of lettuce Butter or Cos work best, leaves separated, washed and dried
- ½ cup mayonnaise home-made or whole-egg store-bought is a-ok
- 1 garlic clove grated or crushed
- 1 ripe avocado skin and seed discarded
- ¼ cup parsley leaves roughly chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- Lemon wedges and crusty bread to serve
- Preheat oven to 240°C (475°F). Line a baking tray with foil.
- Toss the tomatoes, spring onion and vinegar together in a bowl and set aside to pickle slightly.
- Drape the bacon over a wire rack and place on the lined baking tray. Transfer to the oven and bake for 10 minutes, or until the bacon is golden. Remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly. If you like, use scissors to cut the bacon into bite-sized pieces.
- Meanwhile, put the Avo-li ingredients in a food processor, add the pickling liquid from the tomatoes and blend until creamy and combined. (Alternatively, you can use a stick blender.) If your Avo-li splits, add a dash of warm water and use a whisk to bring it back together. Season to taste with sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
- Spoon the Avo-li into serving dish, smearing it around to the edge, as you might butter on toast. Top with lettuce leaves, frisee (if using), avocado, tomato mixture and bacon pieces. Serve with lemon wedges and crusty bread, if you like.
Top Tips No rack? Cut a piece of aluminium foil 2x the length of a baking tray. Fold in half to create a stronger piece of foil then crimp the short end of the foil, in 1inch intervals folding back into itself, like you would a fan, until you reach the end. Open out to create a “rack” then and use to line a baking tray. Harvest the bacon fat at the bottom of your make-shift airfryer for the next time you’re making pasta carbonara or pea and ham soup! If your Avo-li splits, add a dash of warm water and use a whisk to bring it back together. Shortcut No time to make the Avo-li? Serve the avocado as wedges and squirt kewpie mayo across the top of your salad. Double Duty You’re already most of the way to it, so feel free to take the leftovers as an actual BLT sanga for lunch the next day!