BLT Salad with Creamy Basil Dressing
Overrun by basil in the garden? This cool, crisp salad puts it to good use alongside classic BLT flavors.
- 2 Tablespoons Challenge Spreadable Butter, divided
- ¼ cup chopped onion
- ½ cup water
- 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 8 ounces (1 package) Challenge Cream Cheese
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 4 to 5 slices firm textured bread
- 1 pound thick-sliced bacon, diced
- 8 cups bite-sized pieces of Romaine lettuce (about 2 heads)
- 4 cups thin wedges of tomatoes (or halved grape tomatoes)
1Melt about 1 teaspoon butter in a small sauté pan over medium heat. Add onions and sauté onions until limp and just slightly brown at the edges. Set aside to cool.
2Combine softened cream cheese, lemon juice, water, sugar and salt in blender or food processor. Process until smooth and creamy. Blend in onion. Add chopped fresh basil and pulse until pieces are evenly distributed. (Add an extra tablespoon of water if mixture seems too thick to blend.) Set completed dressing aside. (about 1 ¾ cups dressing)
3Preheat oven to 350˚F. Spread butter lightly (½ to ¾ teaspoon per side) on both sides of the bread slices. Cut into ½ inch cubes and place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until cubes are golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside.
4Sauté bacon in a large skillet until crisp. Transfer to a paper-towel lined plate. Set aside to cool.
5In a large bowl combine lettuce thoroughly with about 1 cup of the basil dressing. Gently stir in, tomatoes, bacon and croutons. Add more dressing per taste. Serve immediately.