Bacon, Feta & Tomato Salad
with sunflower seeds & a buttermilk herb ranch salad dressing
It’s so wonderful when you can find really tasty tomatoes in the midst of winter! Large tomatoes with taste are simply nowhere to be found from a store (ever … at least that is how it is here), but I have found some sweet, wonderful cherry tomatoes that are delicious! The key to this salad is finding those good tomatoes. I’m not going to sugar-coat it: so many of the grocery store tomatoes are crap. Taste your tomatoes before you even start and make sure you have some really good-tasting ones. The ones I found are called Nature Sweet Cherubs Heavenly Salad Tomatoes. No, they’re not local and they’re not organic, but they taste like summer and with all this nasty winter we’ve been having, I really need a little taste of summer.
I used an herbed buttermilk ranch on my salad … you don’t need much dressing because the ingredients in the salad are so flavorful, but if you want to take a walk on the wild side and experiment with some other dressings, here are some other suggestions for dressings:
- Sundried tomato ranch dressing
- Avocado ranch dressing
- Tahini avocado yogurt dressing
- Garlic basil buttermilk ranch dressing
- 1/3 cup light mayonnaise
- 2/3 cup buttermilk
- 1 clove garlic
- About 1/2 cup fresh herbs ~ I used basil, thyme, a bit of tarragon, rosemary, and cilantro
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup lowfat or nonfat plain yogurt
- Mixed greens
- Feta cheese, crumbled (2 Tablespoons or so per person)
- Lean bacon, fried till crisp and chopped or crumbled (1 slice per person)
- Fresh sweet cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half (use LOTS!)
- Roasted sunflower seeds (1 Tablespoon or so per person)
- Fresh basil flowers (optional ... they make it extra pretty and add a nice basil taste)
- To make the dressing: Put all the dressing ingredients EXCEPT the yogurt in a handi chopper or food processor and blend until all the herbs are finely chopped and the mixture is smooth.
- Pour the dressing into a bowl and stir in the yogurt till well mixed. Add more buttermilk or some milk if you want a thinner dressing.
- Fill your salad plate or bowl with lots of good greens. Sprinkle a bit of feta over the greens, then the bacon, then load on the tomatoes. Sprinkle with sunflower seeds and basil flowers (if you have them).
- Serve with the dressing on the side. I recommend adding it sparingly because you want the flavors of the salad to shine through.
RECIPE SOURCE: http://www.sumptuousspoonfuls.com/
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This recipe was shared at Mix it Up Mondays, Melt in your Mouth Mondays, Full Plate Thursday, Thursday Favorite Things, Real Food Fridays, What to Do Weekends, Weekend Potluck, Moonlight & Mason Jars and Hearth & Soul Bloghop.