I love BLAT sandwiches and was gifted with some home-grown tomatoes bursting with flavor. I also had some fresh mozzarella on hand. It was too much to put between two slices of bread and so the BLAT Bowl was born. If you don’t eat bacon, substitute with smoked fish for protein or tempeh chips for crunch (www.baliadvertiser.biz/spicy-mexican-tempeh-chips/). You can vary the salad by adding hardboiled eggs, croutons, shrimp and/or parsley.
– 2 perfectly ripe tomatoes or two cups of baby tomatoes
– 1 to 2 Tbl. extra-virgin olive oil
– salt and pepper to taste
– 2/3 cups cheese, such as fresh mozzarella or feta
– 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
– 1 perfectly ripe avocado
– 1- 2 tsp. red wine or sherry vinegar or to taste
– 6 slices of crisp cooked bacon, torn into bite sized pieces
– 2/3 cup rucola or lettuce, torn by hand into bite sized pieces
Options for variations:
– 1 cup of croutons (www.baliadvertiser.biz/dougys-croutons/)
– 2 hardboiled eggs, shelled and chopped
– 1 Tbl. chopped Italian parsley
– 125 g cooked and peeled small shrimp
If using large tomatoes chop them into bite sized pieces, saving the juice and the seeds. If using baby tomatoes cut them in half. Add these to a medium sized bowl and toss with the olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Let this sit for about ten minutes while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Cube the cheese. Tear the basil leaves by hand into bite sized pieces.
Cut the avocado in half lengthwise and remove the pit. Take one half of the avocado in the palm of your hand. Using a knife, cut 1 cm wide slices through the flesh being careful not to cut through the skin. Now cut slices in the opposite direction to make cubes. Remove the flesh from the skin by inserting a large spoon between the flesh and the skin and running it along the length and width of the avocado half. The flesh will release in nice cubes and your hands and nails won’t be a sticky mess. Repeat with the other half adding the cubes to the tomato bowl along with the cheese and the basil leaves. If you’re using the hardboiled eggs and/or the shrimp, add that now. Toss everything with the vinegar. Taste for seasoning and add more vinegar, oil, salt or pepper as needed.
Add the rucola or lettuce and the bacon and toss again. If you are using croutons and/or parsley, add those now and give it a good toss.
Enjoy your meal!