- 1 pound smoked bacon (sliced, cut up)
- 3/4 cup mayonnaise (light)
- 1/3 cup sour cream (light)
- 1/4 cup fresh basil (lightly packed, cut into thin strips)
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
- 1 clove garlic (minced, 1/2 teaspoon)
- 1 head romaine lettuce (shredded, about 8 cups)
- 2 tomatoes (large, very thinly sliced and halved)
- 1/2 red onion (small, very thinly sliced and separated into rings)
- 1 tablespoon butter (unsalted)
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 loaf Italian bread (cut into 1-inch cubes)
- black pepper (To taste, freshly ground)
- Cook bacon over medium heat in large skillet for 15 to 18 minutes or until crisp, spooning off fat and juices as they accumulate during cooking. Remove bacon from skillet; drain on paper towels. Discard drippings.
- Place mayonnaise, sour cream, basil, vinegar, seasoned salt and garlic in blender container. Cover and blend until basil is well combined.
- Layer lettuce, tomatoes and onion in large salad bowl. Evenly spread mayonnaise mixture on top; sprinkle with bacon. Cover and refrigerate
- for 1-4 hours.
- Meanwhile, heat oven to 450 degrees F. Melt butter in large skillet. Remove skillet from heat; stir in olive oil. Add bread cubes; toss until coated. Spread bread cubes on baking sheet. Bake in heated oven for 10 minutes or until lightly toasted, stirring once halfway during baking.
- To serve, add croutons to salad; gently toss until lettuce is evenly coated. Season to taste with pepper.