Project 009: BLT Panzanella

For Project 009 we asked for your lunch recipes. Debbie's contribution is tailor-made for the desk-bound gourmand. It gets better throughout the...

For Project 009 we asked for your lunch recipes. Debbie's contribution is tailor-made for the desk-bound gourmand. It gets better throughout the morning and it pairs well with some contraband wine.

She explains:

BLT PANZANELLA:Make soggy bread work to your advantage by refashioning a BLT into an Italian panzanella, or bread salad. Toasted bread absorbs a simple dressing and juices from ripe heirloom tomatoes, creating a sandwich you can eat with a fork. Unlike most brown bag lunches, the longer it sits, the tastier it gets.If you dare to sneak booze into the office, note that brown paper bags are more than a lunch carrier. They were also born to hide half bottles of red wine – a perfect match for the salad.2 slices Applewood bacon3 ½" slices of bread (a baguette or ciabatta works best)½ pint (1 cup) baby tomatoes, sliced in halves1 small scallion, sliced into thin rounds1 T olive oil½ t balsamic½ c baby lettuces (i.e. cress, arugula, mesclun)salt and pepper to taste1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.2. Cook bacon on a skillet over medium-low heat until fat is rendered out and the meat is crisp. Remove bacon from pan and rest on a paper towel to drain excess fat. When cooled, crumble into ½ inch pieces.3. Lightly dress bread on both sides with reserved bacon fat using a spoon or brush. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet and cook in oven until the crumb is crisp and golden on both sides, about 7 minutes per side. Cool and tear into bite-sized pieces.4. Combine bacon, tomatoes, and scallions in a bowl. Dress with oil and vinegar, season with salt and pepper to taste. Add bread and lettuces last, mixing gently to distribute the dressing thoroughly.

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