BLT Salad with Avocado and Garlic Butter Croutons

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I’m not much of a salad girl. I usually think that salads taste like rabbit food – I’d much rather have a bowl of macaroni and cheese or a great burger. But after a weekend of eating heavy food with my best friend Holly (she came to visit Boston from L.A. a few weeks ago), we realized we were actually craving salads. Bizarre.

So this was my version of a non-salad salad: a bacon, lettuce and tomato salad with avocado and garlic butter croutons. Check it out!

For this recipe, which makes enough for one salad, you’ll need:

2 handfuls of spinach

3 slices of thick-cut bacon, fried and broken up into pieces

4 cherry tomatoes, halved

1/2 avocado, diced

10 chunks of french bread

2 T butter

1 clove garlic, minced

olive oil

balsamic vinegar

First, preheat your oven to 500 degrees. Then melt the 2 T of butter in the microwave and mince the garlic. Add the garlic to the melted butter and brush the garlic butter onto the chunks of french bread with a pastry brush (you can drizzle the butter, too, if that’s easier). Arrange the bread on a pan and put it in the oven for about 5 minutes or until golden brown, flipping the croutons halfway through.

Meanwhile, dice the avocado, cut the tomatoes, fry and breakup the bacon, and put those ingredients, with spinach, in a bowl. Grab the croutons from the oven once they look golden brown and throw them onto the salad, then dress it with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Easy, (kind of) healthy, and delicious – a win, win!

Enjoy!

Grilled Ham and Cheese Sandwich with Caramelized Onions

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This is Sean’s favorite sandwich of all time (in fact, he says it’s the best thing I make), so I decided that it needed a place on the food blog.

You’ll need:

2 slices of crusty bread (I like Trader Joe’s Tuscan Pane)

2 slices of Swiss Cheese

2 slices of Rosemary Ham (from Trader Joe’s), or another type of yummy ham

2 T mayo

1 T Dijon mMustard

one sweet or yellow onion

1 T brown sugar

pinch of pepper

4 T butter

The caramelized onions are what make this sandwich amazing (let’s be honest, caramelized onions make everything better), so I always start with those. Slice an onion into rings, then put 2 T butter in a pan to melt. When the butter has melted, add the onions and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes. If the pan looks dry and the onions start to char, add more butter. I usually end up adding about 4 T by the end.

Once the onions look like this…

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…add 1 T of brown sugar and a pinch of pepper and stir to combine. Let them sit over the heat for 3 more minutes so the sugar will caramelize, then remove from the heat.

Then assemble your sandwich! Cover one side of the bread with dijon mustard, and layer the sandwich with cheese, meat and onions. You won’t use that whole batch of onions for one sandwich, but you can save them in your fridge or freezer for other recipes.

Put the sandwich together, then cover the outside of the bread with mayo. Little known fact: making paninis with mayo on the outside makes them turn golden brown while cooking because of the egg in the mayo. It’s a little bit like making your grilled cheese french toast style.

Then put the sandwich on a grill, a panini press or a pan. I prefer to use a panini press. Leave it for 5-10 minutes, flipping once, and you’re done!

Enjoy 🙂

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