The basil mayonnaise in this salad is wonderful. Use any leftovers in sandwiches. This salad is a "keeper".
Chicken, Bacon, and Tomato Salad with Croutons
adapted from a recipe in Gourmet Magazine | June 1989
• 3 cups 3/4-inch cubes of Italian Bread (I used a baguette)
• 3 tablespoons olive oil
• 7 slices of lean bacon, chopped
• 3 pounds chicken breasts, poached, skin and bones discarded, and the meat cut into bite-size pieces (about 4 cups)
• 1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
• 4 scallions, including the green part, minced
• 1/2 cup basil mayonnaise (recipe follows)
• basil sprigs for garnish, if desired
1. In a bowl drizzle the bread cubes with the oil, tossing them to coat evenly, and season with salt. Spread the bread cubes in a jelly-roll pan and toast them in the middle of a preheated 350˚F oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until they are golden. Remove and let cool.
2. In a skillet cook the bacon over moderate heat, stirring, until it is crisp and transfer with a slotted spoon to a paper towel to drain.
3. In a large bowl combine the chicken, tomatoes, scallions and two thirds of the bacon, the mayonnaise, and salt and pepper to taste. Divide the salad among 3 plates. Arrange the croutons around it. Garnish each serving with some of the remaining bacon and a basil sprig.
• 1 garlic clove
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 2 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves
• 1 large egg
• 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
• 3/4 cup vegetable oil
• 1/4 cup olive oil
Mince and mash the garlic to a paste with the salt. In a food processor or blender, blend together the basil, the egg, the lemon juice, and the garlic paste. With the motor running, add the oils in a VERY slow stream, and blend the mayonnaise well. Season the mayonnaise with salt and pepper. Makes about 1 1/4 cups.