This year’s garden brought forth a bountiful supply of delicious tomatoes. And if you’re in the same boat, you may need some tomato recipes. Try our bacon, lettuce and, triple tomato salad recipe using three different types of tomatoes.
Bacon Lettuce & Triple Tomato Salad
Every summer, it is the compelling tug of memories that send tender roots into the depth of my tomato loving heart. I recall long ago summers filled with an endless supply of succulent, sun-warmed tomatoes. These childhood remembrances pull me forward and bend me down until I am face to face with the beloved earth.
To till the soil, come late May or early June is more of a sacred ritual than it is a dreaded and laborious task. From solarizing the raised garden beds to adding the manure compost. Then finally, when everything is in order, the planting of seedlings and seeds into fertile earth. When everything is in the ground and planted, I say a prayer over our family garden plot, fervently asking the ancestors to protect and watch over it, and to provide a bountiful garden. And along with those prayers, gardens need lots of hard, hard work.
I love tomatoes; maybe it’s because my mama loved them, and perhaps that’s part of it. After all, it is our parents who imprint upon us so many “likes and dislikes” even if we don’t realize how much of an influence they’ve had on us, good or bad. If I’m honest, both my mom and daddy loved eating tomatoes. They’d pick them fresh from the garden, take that first bite to open up the flesh, then shake out the white of Morton’s salt upon orbs of varying shades of red. Then it was a triad of motion which entailed bite, sprinkle, and eat. Repeat. So good!
Garden grown fresh tomatoes, there’s nothing like ’em.
This growing season, I planted more tomatoes than I’ve ever planted, eleven plants in all. And it’s a good thing I did because this summer was perfect for growing tomatoes. My back yard possessed favorable conditions from start to finish, and it paid off. This year is also the year I built raised garden beds, and so far, it’s the best return on a garden investment I’ve ever made, bar none. I built two 3ft x 10ft x 23-inches and two 3ft x 8ft x 23-inches. I used treated boards to build them, and I left the bottoms open to ensure adequate drainage. The beds sit upon a leveled plot topped with landscaping fabric and wood chips. I filled each bed with a mixture of screened topsoil and goat manure compost. Then I planted 3 San Marzano, 3 Roma, 1 Green Zebra, 1 Pink Germain, 1 Sun Gold, 1 Health Kick, 1 Jujube, and 1 Brandywine tomato plant. I was blessed this growing season, because to date, I haven’t experienced any major issues regarding my tomatoes. So lucky.
Sliced Roma, Green Zebra, and Sun Gold tomatoes
Around mid-summer, my cousin Ebone sent me a message via Instagram of a BLT recipe, and since she loves tomatoes, and she knew I was growing lots of tomatoes, she asked if I could make this recipe for her. I have cool cousins, so it was a no-brainer. Now, all I had to do was wait on the tomatoes to ripen. Waiting for tomatoes to ripen is one part patience and one part torture.
Eventually, the tomatoes started to ripen in earnest, and I made a salad of ripe tomatoes, crumbled thick-cut bacon, and garden-fresh arugula and micro-greens. I also used my favorite flaky sea salt, freshly cracked black peppercorns, and topped it all with long drizzles of quality extra virgin olive oil, 3-year old balsamic vinegar, mango vinegar, and pomegranate molasses mixed into a delicious vinaigrette.
I grew lots of arugulas and micro-greens in this summer’s garden, and now we can’t get enough!
Here Is What You Need To Make Our Bacon, Lettuce & Triple Tomato Salad:
Thick-Cut Bacon. Honestly, you can’t have good bacon, lettuce, and tomato salad without quality ingredients. That’s why I used my favorite thick-cut bacon and cooked up a heap in the oven. Word on the street is cooking bacon on a sheet pan lined with aluminum foil is the absolute best way to cook bacon. Give it a try, and you’ll never cook bacon on the stovetop again.
Arugula Lettuce & Micro Greens. Every summer, I grow a ton of salad fixings. Arugula and microgreens are always a significant crop because you got to have a salad! And if you’re making a salad as your main course, then only the good stuff will do!
Tomatoes. For this recipe, I used heirloom San Marzano, Green Zebra, and Sun Gold tomatoes. However, use whatever kind of tomatoes bring you maximum joy. During the height of summer is prime time to harvest tomatoes from your home garden or grab tomatoes by visiting your local farmers’ markets.
Balsamic Vinaigrette. For this recipe, I made a simple vinaigrette using flaky sea salt, freshly cracked black peppercorns, extra virgin olive oil, 3-year old balsamic vinegar, mango vinegar, and pomegranate molasses. It was an incredible, entree salad combination.
Bacon Lettuce & Triple Tomato Salad
- 4 cups fresh arugula
- 1 cup micro-greens
- 4 strips of thick-cut bacon crumbled
- 3 ripe heirloom San Marzano tomatoes, sliced
- 2 large heirloom Green Zebra tomatoes, sliced
- 8 heirloom Sun Gold tomatoes cut in half
- Preheat oven to 400 ° and cover a sheet pan with aluminum foil, arrange the thick-cut bacon in vertical rows, making sure the bacon doesn’t touch. Bake the bacon in the center rack of the oven until the bacon stripes are crispy in about 40 minutes. Remove the sheet pan from the oven and, using a pair of tongs, transfer the bacon to a plate lined with several paper towels to absorb excess grease. When the bacon is cool enough to handle, place the strips of bacon on a cutting board, and chop using a butcher or chef’s knife. Place the chopped bacon in a bowl and set aside.
- Slice the assortment of tomatoes and divide them between two serving plates, add fresh arugula, micro-greens, and chopped thick-cut bacon, drizzle with Balsamic vinaigrette, flaky sea salt, and freshly cracked black peppercorns.
- Top with freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. Also, Asiago, Romano, or blue cheese crumbles work well too!
Homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette
- 1/4 cup extra olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons mango vinegar
- 2 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon pomegranate molasses
- flaky sea salt to taste
- freshly cracked black peppercorns to taste
- Combine the ingredients into a Mason jar with screw lid.
- Tightly screw-on the lid and shake the jar for 30 seconds.
Now that you have the recipe, all your have to do is grab an assortment of delicious mouth-watering and sun-ripened tomatoes and create this easy summertime salad. It’s perfect for light lunch or a quick dinner. And other toppings like sliced red onion, thin ribbons of zucchini, and homemade croutons are also great additions. Enjoy!