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BLT Panzanella - A Family Feast

BLT Panzanella

Yield: 4-6 servings 1x
Prep: 30 minsCook: 15 minsTotal: 45 minutes


  • 1 pound bacon
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ loaf French or Italian bread cut into one inch squares
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups chopped romaine
  • 4 cups chopped iceberg
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 2 large tomatoes cored and cut into bite sized pieces

For the Dressing

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Zest from ¼ lemon
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon whole grain mustard
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon crème fraiche or sour cream
  • ½ teaspoon agave nectar or honey
  • Few drops sriracha, or other hot sauce of your choice
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Few grinds freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons bacon fat
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon basil finely chopped


  1. Cut bacon strips into four pieces each and cook until crisp in a large skillet. Set aside on paper towels to drain and save one tablespoon of bacon fat in the pan and two more for the dressing for a total of three tablespoons reserved.
  2. Add the oil to the one tablespoon of bacon fat and heat to medium high. Add bread, salt and pepper and toss continuously until toasted on all sides, about ten minutes. Set aside.
  3. Cut romaine and iceberg into bite sized pieces and place in large bowl. Add whole basil leaves, tomatoes, cooked bacon and toasted bread and toss.

To Make the Dressing

  1. Place all dressing ingredients except bacon fat, oil and basil into a blender. Blend ingredients and slowly add bacon fat and olive oil with motor running. Toss in the basil and pulse a few times to combine.
  2. Serve dressing drizzled over the salad and tossed to coat, or on the side if you prefer.

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