Saturday, September 4, 2010

BLT Salad with Homemade Buttermilk Dressing

I made another batch of my delicious Blueberry Muffins the other day and have plenty of buttermilk leftover. I'm not one to throw anything away, so I came up with this creamy homemade buttermilk dressing. I also happened to have a variety of tomatoes in my vegetable basket gathered from the local farm stand and a generous neighbor's garden, so it made sense to star them in this recipe. If you can, use different colors and types of tomato to create a beautiful salad that will dazzle the eye, as well as the palette. Tomatoes come in many colors besides the classic red, such as yellow, purple and orange and each has it's own flavor. They are also a rich source of lycopene, one of the most powerful natural antioxidants, along with Vitamins C and A. This salad is the perfect venue for the delicious, ripe tomatoes so abundant in gardens and farmer's markets right now. It makes a wonderful side dish or main dish salad for a light meal. Enjoy the harvest!

BLT Salad with Homemade Buttermilk Dressing
(Makes 4 servings)

½ head iceberg lettuce
6 tomatoes, cored and cubed (about 1½-2 cups)
2 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

2 tablespoons chives or scallions, minced
1 small shallot, minced
1 tablespoon parsley, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon black pepper
½ cup low-fat mayonnaise
1/3 cup fat-free buttermilk

1. Whisk all the dressing ingredients together and refrigerate. The dressing can be made ahead. Cook bacon until crispy, drain on paper towels and crumble into a small bowl; set aside.

2. Core the iceberg lettuce, cut in half and reserve half for another time. Take the remaining half and cut into ¼ inch strips, give the lettuce a rough chop to create bite-size pieces and place into a large bowl.

3. Core and slice tomatoes, then cut into cubes. Add to the lettuce and toss with the dressing and ½ of the bacon. Divide evenly among four serving plates and sprinkle the remaining bacon evenly over the top of each serving. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Information per serving: 153 calories, 12 g carbohydrate, 11.7 g total fat, 2.5 g saturated fat, 383.5 mg sodium, 1.2 g fiber, 3.6 g protein.

Original recipe by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2010

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