BLT Pasta Salad

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Everyone loves summer but I REALLY love summer!

It’s the one time of the year when I feel I can truly relax and just focus on having fun. 

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And many years ago, summer got even better when I met my husband and discovered that his parents had a place at the beach!

From then on, my summer weekends were filled with lazy beach days (although not as lazy now with a 2-year-old) and lots of familycooking lots of food!

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The kitchen at Fire Island is pretty small, and with as many as 14 people vying for space, I try to pre-make some food items to bring.

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Which brings me to this pasta salad!

I make all the components ahead of time and keep the dressing separate.

When I get to Fire Island, I combine everything in a bowl...

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No cooking, no mess, and yet a DELICIOUS dish!

You’ve got bacon, juicy tomatoes, crunchy red onionsand most importantly you have a dressing made with pureed romaine lettuce.

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The lettuce in the dressing gives the whole thing a fresh, light taste that screams summer and makes this pasta salad highly addictive.

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Whether you’re at the beach or the park, or in your own backyard, this dish will truly make you feel like summer has begun!

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BLT Pasta Salad with Romaine Lettuce Dressing

servings: 4 to 6 servings, with about 2 cups Romaine Lettuce Dressing

Romaine Lettuce Dressing:

  • 2 romaine hearts, halved
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper

BLT Pasta Salad:

  • 1 pound short-cut pasta
  • 4 strips extra thick-cut bacon
  • 2 cups Romaine Lettuce Dressing
  • 2 cups lightly packed baby spinach or chopped romaine
  • 2 cups halved grape tomatoes
  • 1 cup finely chopped sundried tomatoes
  • 1 small red onion, very thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper

Romaine Lettuce Dressing:

  1. Heat a grill pan over high heat. Then brush the 4 lettuce halves on the cut side with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Grill the lettuce cut-side-down until it is slightly charred and wilted—about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the lettuce from the grill pan, coarsely chop it and discard the stems.
  2. Combine the lettuce, remaining 4 tablespoons of oil, yogurt, lemon juice, mustard, salt, and pepper in a food processor or blender. If all of the lettuce does not fit at one time, puree a portion of it, adding more as you do, until it is all in the food processor. Once it has all been pureed, set it aside for later.

BLT Pasta Salad:

  1. Place a large pot of salted water over high heat. When the water boils, add the pasta and cook it according to the package directions. Then drain it, rinse it under cold water, and set it aside.
  2. While the pasta cooks, in a large skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon until it is crispy—about 7 minutes. Transfer the bacon to paper towels. Once it is cool enough to handle, coarsely chop it; this should give you about 1½ cups of bacon pieces. Set the bacon aside for later.
  3. Toss the pasta with the Romaine Lettuce Dressing, spinach or romaine, grape tomatoes, sundried tomatoes, onion, salt, and pepper. Top it with the bacon and serve!
: @bluebirdandblackberries

: @bluebirdandblackberries

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