Dish with Diane — a series all about getting healthy and delicious foods right from world-class chefs themselves, brings you this perfect summertime salad. It’s based on the classic sandwich but has more tomatoes and greens.
- 4 Beefsteak or heirloom tomatoes (or 4 cups mixed tomatoes)
- ¼ Cup Panko breadcrumbs (or any other variety)
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Cup basil leaves
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 egg
- 2 slices bacon, rendered and fat saved
- 1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar
- ¼ Cup canola oil
- ½ Teaspoon Kosher salt
- Pepper, to taste
- 2 Cups mixed herbs and soft lettuces
- Juice of half a lemon
- Maldon salt, to taste (or any other salt)
Slice the tomatoes, sprinkle them with a pinch of salt, and set them aside on a plate.
Toss the breadcrumbs with a little olive oil and pinch of salt. Sauté them (or bake them at 325⁰ F) until golden brown then set them aside to cool.
Blanch the basil leaves and garlic by placing them in boiling water for 20 seconds, removing them from the water with a strainer, and then rinsing them in an ice bath or under cold running water. Drop the whole egg into the boiling water just for 30 seconds and then remove. Combine the egg with the garlic and basil in a food processor or blender. Add 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat and the white wine vinegar and the purée. Add the canola oil slowly and then season with kosher salt and pepper.
Toss the lettuces and herbs with a pinch of salt, lemon juice, and olive oil.
Spoon or smear a little of the basil bacon aioli on each plate. Divide the lettuces and herbs on each plate.
Divide the tomatoes on each salad. Crumble bacon over each salad and sprinkle on some of the toasted bread crumbs. Finish with a little Maldon salt and pepper.