Here you’ll find all the flavors of the beloved sandwich, but with less bread and way more tomatoes. I use very crisp and dense romaine hearts because I adore the texture – a key element in any salad – but the salad will also be delicious with iceberg or a softer lettuce such as Bibb.

Plentiful bread crumbs stand in for the sandwich bread, and to emphasize the B in BLT, the crumbs are fried in bacon fat, but you could use olive oil. I love the way crumbs integrate with the salad better than larger croutons could, meaning you’ll get crisp crunch in every bite.

Excerpted from Simply Tomato: 100 Recipes for Enjoying Your Favorite Ingredient All Year Long by Martha Holmberg (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2023. Photographs by Ellen Silverman.

Serves 2 or 3

  • 1 pound (450 g) tomatoes, preferably a mix of colors and types
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 to 6 slices bacon
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large slice or 2 smaller slices rustic bread, such as ciabatta or sourdough, torn into large irregular crumbs
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 small heart romaine lettuce, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into sections, or 2 small Little Gem lettuces, cut into wedges
  • Creamy Salad Dressing (recipe follows)

1. Core the tomatoes and cut them into 1-inch (2.5 cm) chunks; or, if using cherry tomatoes, cut them in half. Season lightly with salt, pile the tomatoes into a colander or sieve set over a bowl (to catch the juices, which will be used to make the creamy salad dressing), and let drain while you prepare the rest of the salad.

2. Line a plate with paper towels to drain the bacon. In a skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat, taking the time to get all of the slices evenly crisp. Fatty bacon is delicious, but you don’t want that chewy uncooked fat texture here. Drain on the paper towels.

3. Line another plate with more paper towels. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat from the pan. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and heat over medium-high heat. Drop one of the bread pieces into the fat—if it sizzles nicely, add the rest. If not, continue heating the fat and oil for a few more seconds. Add all the bread crumbs to the pan and shake the pan to coat them with fat and distribute them evenly across the bottom.

4. Cook the crumbs over medium heat until they are deep golden brown all over. Take your time with this; if you rush things, you may end up burning the crumbs. Transfer the crumbs to the paper towels to drain and season them lightly with salt and pepper. They will crisp as they cool.

5. Arrange the lettuce in a serving bowl or on plates and top with the tomatoes. Drizzle the lettuce and tomatoes with a generous amount of the dressing. Crumble the bacon over the tomatoes and then scatter the crumbs over everything. Serve right away, passing the remaining dressing at the table.

Creamy Salad Dressing For BLT Salad

Makes about ¼ cup (60 ml)

  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise, preferably Hellmann’s or Best Foods
  • 2 tablespoons whole-milk yogurt (Greek or regular) or 1 tablespoon sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • Tomato juices reserved from BLT Salad (above)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Tiny pinch of Aleppo pepper or cayenne pepper
  • Sugar, if needed
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (optional)

1. In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, yogurt, and vinegar until smooth. Whisk in enough of the reserved tomato juices to thin the dressing to a nice pourable consistency. Season generously with salt, black pepper, and Aleppo pepper. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding a pinch of sugar if needed to keep the dressing tangy but not sharp. Add the parsley, if using.