Sunday, July 14, 2013

Pesto BLT Salad

I enjoy bacon. On its own it is amazing, but added to almost any savory dish it becomes amazing. A BLT sandwich is one of those ultimate comfort foods. My friend Elissa introduced me to a BLT Salad a few years ago and it was love at first bite. Chop salad - yes please. A club sandwich... yum. Wilted leaf lettuce salad (recipe coming soon) - childhood memories.

A few months ago my husband and I hit up a new bar and grill in town and I had their pesto chicken club sandwich. Until then, I had missed the amazing combination of pesto and bacon. Now I'm on a mission to pair the two wherever I can (within reason so I can keep my waistline in check).

This amazing salad came together today as I cleaned out the odds and ends in my fridge. If this is what I come up with, maybe I should clean it out more often.

6 c. Chopped Greens (I used spinach, but romaine would be good)
2 c. Orzo, cooked
2 Roma Tomatoes, seeded and diced
5 slices of Bacon, fried and chopped
4 T. Pesto
Shredded Parmesan or Romano Cheese

Cook the orzo until al dente and drain. Rinse briefly with cold water to cool it off and keep pesto from soaking into the pasta too quickly. Toss the pasta with the pesto and set aside to cool while completing the salad. Chop your greens and then add the tomato and bacon. I opted to chop the bacon small to get a little bit in every bite.

Fold in the pesto pasta with the salad and stir to coat. Add additional pesto if necessary. Top with freshly shredded cheese. Served slightly warm, this salad was a great combination of crispy, smooth, salty, and a bit sweet. Definitely a summer salad worth repeating.

* Adding a bit of pine nuts or chicken would be a nice addition to the salad as well. I had a bit extra leftover and pit it a tortilla and it made a great filling for a wrap.

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