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"This salad from Thomas Keller's family-style restaurant, Ad Hoc, in Yountville, California, is a twist on the quintessential American combination of iceberg lettuce, tomato wedges and packaged bacon bits with a mayonnaise dressing. Only the iceberg lettuce wedges stay the same: The tomatoes are oven-roasted, the bacon is cut extra thick and the buttermilk dressing is spiked with chives, mint and parsley." This salad still is one of my favorites and this take on it is delicious! Food & Wine Magazine, October 2007 edition, Entertaining Napa Style. Have not allowed for cooling or chilling time.
- 4 large plum tomatoes, bottoms marked with an X
- 1⁄4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped thyme
- salt, to taste
- fresh ground pepper, to taste
- 2 cups brioche bread, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
- 1⁄3 cup mayonnaise
- 1⁄4 cup creme fraiche or 1⁄4 cup sour cream
- 1⁄4 cup buttermilk
- 2 1⁄2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (not that bottled stuff)
- 1 tablespoon chopped flat leaf parsley
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons chopped mint
- 3 tablespoons snipped chives
- 1⁄2 lb thickly sliced bacon, cut into 2-by-1/2-inch pieces
- 2 medium iceberg lettuce, cut into 4 wedges each
- Preheat the oven to 275°F
- Prepare a bowl of ice water.
- In a medium pot of boiling water, blanch the tomatoes just until the skins loosen, about 30 seconds.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer the tomatoes to the ice water to cool.
- Drain and peel the tomatoes, pat dry and halve crosswise.
- Arrange the tomatoes, cut side up, on a nonstick baking sheet and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil.
- Sprinkle with the chopped thyme and season with salt and pepper.
- Roast for about 2 1/2 hours, or until the tomatoes are very tender and slightly shrunken.
- Transfer the tomatoes to a plate and let cool.
- Meanwhile, spread the brioche cubes on a small baking sheet and toast for about 15 minutes, or until golden and crisp.
- Let the croutons cool.
- In a small bowl, whisk the mayonnaise, crème fraîche and buttermilk until smooth.
- Add the lemon juice, parsley, mint and 1 tablespoon of the chives and season with salt and pepper.
- Refrigerate until chilled.
- In a medium skillet, cook the bacon over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until browned and slightly crisp, 8 to 10 minutes.
- Transfer to paper towels to drain.
- Put each iceberg wedge on a plate, add a tomato half and drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
- Scatter the croutons and bacon on top.
- Garnish with the remaining 2 tablespoons of chives and serve, passing the buttermilk dressing at the table.