• 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)


  1. 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.
  2. Place mayonnaise, sour cream, basil, vinegar, seasoned salt and garlic in blender container. Cover and blend until basil is well combined.
  3. Layer lettuce, tomatoes and onion in large salad bowl. Evenly spread mayonnaise mixture on top; sprinkle with bacon. Cover and refrigerate
  4. for 1-4 hours.
  5. 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.
  6. To serve, add croutons to salad; gently toss until lettuce is evenly coated. Season to taste with pepper.
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