How to make a BLT salad with Worcestershire vinaigrette

Graphic: Natalie Peeples

A few years ago when my husband and I were a spry, travel-loving couple instead of the couch-bound dullards we’ve become, we took a lovely autumn trip to Vermont and Montreal.

Back then, I did not own a laptop. I did not belong to Instagram. I documented things I found delightful or weird or delicious in a... sketchbook. Not for the world, just for me. I drew creatures and cartoons, and most memorably, food and recipes that stood out from our trips. I have cooked from this notebook, based on scrawly drawings in fine-tipped pen, ingredients labeled in minuscule handwriting. A birthday dinner on a hiking trip. A linguica sandwich in Seattle. A teacup full of chocolate pudding with a salty walnut crumble. These drawings, created in situ, were imbued with memories and I feel it now whenever I open that book.

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The most detailed entry? Our dinner at Joe Beef in Montreal in September 2014. I was so astounded by the level of gluttonous delicacies I filled a whole page with our meal: Lobster spaghetti, aged steak, bone marrow mashed potatoes, and the late-summer salad that changed my view forever of what you were allowed to do with a salad.

It was essentially a tomato salad with thiiiicccck-cut bacon. My favorite part? The Worcestershire vinaigrette, which elevated the plate to a steakhouse salad. In my version, I added crisp butter lettuce to round out the BLT equation.

But oh, that bacon, I didn’t know it was possible to add so much bacon onto a salad. Until I realized “too much bacon” is a phrase that does not exist.


Photo: A.E. Dwyer
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Joe Beef-inspired BLT Salad with Worcestershire Vinaigrette

Serves 4

  • 3-4 medium tomatoes, preferably a few heirloom varieties
  • 1 head of butter lettuce
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. minced chives
  • However many slices of thick-cut bacon you deem sensible, then add four more slices
  • Freshly ground black pepper and sea salt

Heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Place bacon on a foil lined baking sheet, and bake for 8-10 minutes. You may need a few additional minutes if your bacon is quite thick. You want it golden brown and slightly crisp.

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Whisk Worcestershire sauce and olive oil together, then mix in the chives. Season to taste with pepper and a pinch of salt.

Arrange lettuce leaves and tomato slices attractively on a large platter. Shingle with whole slices of bacon, and sprinkle a bit of sea salt on each tomato slice. Drizzle sparingly with the Worcestershire dressing.

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