BLT Chopped Salad
I would like to thank the inventor of the chopped salad, then double thank the inventor of the BLT. We’re combining both works of genius into a big, beautiful salad today: BLT Chopped Salad with Feta and Corn! It’s super summery, creamy and crunchy, and, unlike just about every salad I’ve ever ordered in a restaurant, blessedly low maintenance to munch.
Maybe I’m unusually bad with a knife and fork, but I feel like every time I order a salad at a restaurant, I end up knocking half of it off my plate in a futile attempt to cut myself a manageable bite.
It’s even worse when I attempt to coerce a bit of each ingredient onto my fork.
Before my first bite, I’ve usually spilled at least four or five drippy salad leaves onto the table, along with a few coveted crispy pieces of bacon. This is the point in the meal when I consider my company. Would they judge me if I snuck the leaves back on my plate?
Surely they wouldn’t judge me for reclaiming the lost bacon.
I love my salads, but I don’t always want to work so hard to eat them. Give me my greens, my toppings, and let my fork and I conduct our business with minimum aggravation, please.
Fortunately for us salad-spillers, the chopped salad agrees. Not only do chopped salads come precut for easy eating, the even distribution of ingredients ensures that you get a little bit of everything with each bite.
Now, let’s talk BLT. Bacon. Lettuce. Tomato. It’s a classic year-round, but with summer tomatoes entering their juicy prime, now is my favorite time to enjoy it.
The Sandwich-Inspired BLT Chopped Salad
For this BLT-inspired salad recipe, I swapped the classic butter lettuce for heartier kale, which not only can better hold up to the “chop” (butter lettuce tends to become mushy and watery when cut and tossed), but also actually tastes even better after it’s sliced.
If your experience of kale salads thus far is best summarized by piles of tough, overpowering greens that feel more like a workout for your jaw than an enjoyable meal, I understand.
I am also determined to change your mind.
The universe is plagued by a lot of bad kale salads, several of which I’ve had the misfortune to experience in restaurants. While there are a wide range of kale salad offenses (too many stems, lack of good toppings, not enough or too much dressing), the most common I see is that the kale has not been massaged.
Yes, massaged. If you finely chop the kale, then spend a few minutes gently squeezing it with your hands, the kale become more tender and its flavor mellows into something that’s not just pleasant—it’s delicious. As a bonus, you will feel super-duper healthy and empowered after you eat it too.
In addition to their taste/health benefits, I also love kale salads because they are hearty enough to last in my refrigerator for days. You can prep a big kale salad on the weekend and eat it for quick, healthy lunches all week long.
OK, now that we’ve covered the “L” (er, K) portion of this BLT Chopped Salad rather exhaustively (I’ve convinced you to try it with kale, right?), let’s move along to the “B” and “T.”
The “B” might as well stand for “Best Thing in Life.” Thick, crispy bacon is the heart of a BLT. Buy the good stuff, and then bake your bacon in the oven. It’s worth it!
For the “T,” I added plump cherry tomatoes for freshness, along with a handful of sun-dried tomatoes for their rich, concentrated flavor. The fresh tomatoes are the staple, but it’s the sun-dried ones that make the BLT Chopped Salad taste special.
The feta and sweet corn I added for color, flavor, and because they are ultra yummy. The corn makes the salad extra fresh and summery, and the creamy, salty feta makes the BLT Chopped Salad taste complete.
Whether you need a dish for a summer potluck or are looking for a little summer lunch or light dinner inspiration, this BLT Chopped Salad does not disappoint. It’s a classic with a twist that’s still sure to please a crowd…and won’t end up spilled all over your table.
Love all things BLT? Be sure to check out these BLT-themed recipes:
BLT Chopped Salad
For the BLT Chopped Salad:
- 8 slices thick-cut bacon — about 9 ounces
- 1/2 cup julienned sun-dried tomatoes — not the kind packed in oil
- 8 cups kale — tough stems removed and chopped (about 14 to 16 ounces with stems or 8 ounces without)
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes — halved
- 1 1/2 cups sweet corn kernels — fresh, frozen and thawed, or drained from a can
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1/4 cup finely chopped green — or red onion
For the Dressing:
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice — from about 2 medium limes
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Bake the bacon according to these directions for Baked Bacon. Once cooked, remove to a plate and pat dry. Let cool, then chop.
- Meanwhile, place the sun-dried tomatoes in a small bowl. Top with very hot water and let sit for a few minutes to rehydrate while you prepare the other ingredients. Drain and pat dry.
- Place the chopped kale in a large serving bowl. Sprinkle with kosher salt. Massage with your hands by grabbing large handfuls a few at a time and squeezing gently until the kale is darker in color and more fragrant (this step makes the kale more tender and less bitter in taste—don’t skip it!). Add the drained sun-dried tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, corn, feta, and green onion.
- Prepare the dressing: In a small bowl or large measuring cup, stir together the lime juice, olive oil, smoked paprika, and salt. Drizzle over the salad and toss to coat. If time allows, let rest in the refrigerator for 15 minutes or serve immediately.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container (or a bowl tightly covered with plastic wrap) in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Before serving, toss with a little extra lime juice and pinch of salt.
- For faster prep, chop and prep the kale and other salad ingredients while the bacon bakes.
Nutrition InformationAmount per serving (1 (of 6), about 2 heaping cups each) — Calories: 262, Fat: 16g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 28mg, Sodium: 726mg, Carbohydrates: 19g, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 9g, Protein: 14g
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