BLT Pasta Salad
1 lb Fusili (Corkscrew) pasta
1 lb bacon
1 basket cherry tomatoes
1 head green leaf lettuce
1/4 cup blue cheese
2 bunch chives, chopped – some here, some in the dressing
12 leaves fresh basil, chiffonade
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1/2 tsp dried thyme
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup mayonnaise – I only use olive oil mayo, and for the sake of all things related to good food, DO NOT USE LIGHT MAYO FOR THIS! 🙂
1/2 cup sour cream – again, don’t use low fat/non fat. It’s RANCH dressing, bring on the fat!
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup chives, finely chopped
1/4 cup Italian flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp white pepper – don’t have any? Use black pepper instead!
Let’s make the dressing first! In a mason jar combine all ingredients. Put the lid on tight, pass it off to a child or easily amused adult and have them shake it for a good few minutes. Whew! I’m glad we got the hard part out of the way! 😉 If you open it up and there are some lumps, no worries, grab a whisk and give it a good whip. This dressing will keep in the jar for about a week!
Ok, Salad time! Cook pasta as directed on box, drain, and transfer to a flat bottomed container – think a foil disposable lasagna pan, you’ll be able to take it with you to your BBQ and it won’t matter if it comes home with you! Place the pasta in the fridge and let it cool for about an hour.
Meanwhile, slice bacon in small pieces, think about the width of your thumb nail, and fry in a large skillet on the stove. If you’d rather not make a mess, you can bake your bacon in the oven and break it apart later. Once browned and cooked through, transfer to paper towels to drain and let cook. Slice cherry tomatoes in half. Now, I’m all about making life easier for everyone everywhere, so check out this little tip on how to cut several cherry tomatoes in half all at once (but this guy doesn’t use a serrated knife, which is a recipe for disaster, so use a large serrated knife – like a bread knife – to avoid mashing your tomatoes). Clean your lettuce and chop into small salad size pieces. Chiffonade your basil, there’s a link in the ingredients section. Remember, that’s not me!
Once your pasta is cold and your bacon is cooled, mix it up! Combine all your ingredients in your foil pan or a large bowl. Stir to combine and salt and pepper to taste. If you’re leaving immediately, add your dressing, otherwise, bring it with you and dress the salad when you arrive at your event, or just before the salad is being served.
This is one of my favorite recipes and I definitely will be making it for my 4th of July event this year!
Happy Independence Day!