Sometimes tomatoes just need to be tomatoes.  And if they are great heirloom, homegrown tomatoes, so much the better.  This salad concept is simple, very easy and made with ingredients that you probably always have hanging around.  It’s so obvious that you’ll say “GENIUS.  Why didn’t I think of that?!”






BTL Salad



2 ½ C. cubed white bread(The better the bread, the better the croutons.  Stale-ish bread is prefect).

3 TBL. butter, melted or the rendered fat from the cooked bacon

1 tsp. kosher salt

¼ tsp. freshly ground pepper


1 TBL. minced shallot

¼ C. cider vinegar

½ C. buttermilk(to sour milk, i.e. make buttermilk flavor form regular milk, add 1 tsp. of white vinegar to the milk and let sit 10 minutes)

¾ C. mayonnaise

½ C. grated Parmesan cheese

½ tsp kosher salt

¼ tsp. freshly ground pepper

1/8 tsp. sugar


12 oz. romaine lettuce, washed, dried and torn into bite-sized pieces

1 ½ lbs. assorted tomatoes, larger ones sliced, smaller ones quartered or halved

6 slices cooked bacon, coarsely chopped

Italian parsley and fresh basil leaves to taste



  1. Preheat the oven to 375°.
  2. Mix the cubed bread, melted butter (or bacon fat), salt and pepper together in a bowl.  Toss.
  3. Spread out on a baking sheet and bake until golden(about 7-8 minutes).  Set aside.
  4. Combine shallot, and vinegar in a small bowl and let stand for 5 minutes.  Whisk in buttermilk, mayo, cheese, salt, pepper and sugar.
  5. Toss the romaine with 4 TBL. of the dressing and lay out the dressed lettuce on a platter.
  6. Top with tomatoes, chopped bacon, croutons, parsley and basil and drizzle with 3 TBL. of dressing.
  7. Serve immediately, passing the remaining dressing.