I am always looking for great ways to save some calories without sacrificing taste. Changing the form of a BLT enables me to cut down on the bread and increase the lettuce with a dramatic decrease of calories and I know there are a lot of people out there that want to lose some weight. I'd wish I could say that I was sitting in a restaurant eating a lettuce wrap when inspiration struck but to be honest I was just looking for a low-calorie option for breakfast. When I thought about a breakfast salad everything fell into place; the tomatoes and lettuce the stars and give the bacon and bread a supporting role. All I have to do is wrap everything in the lettuce leaf and I have the same elements in a different yet familiar form, reinforcing the premise that inspiration is based on exposure to multiple ideas and just bringing it all together in an unique way.
4 pounds fresh firm tomatoes
1 head iceberg or butter lettuce
10 pieces thick sliced bacon
3-4 slices of thin sliced dense bread
10 fresh basil leaves
3 tbsp. olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
Optional: Sliced avocado
Silpat silicone baking sheet or parchment paper
Preheat oven to 350° F. Dice the bread into small cubes, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and spread out in a sheet pan lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet. Bake until brown and crispy and reserve.
Bring a stock pot of water to boil and prepare an ice-bath. Core out the stem end of the tomatoes with a paring knife and cut a small X in the opposite end. Blanch the tomatoes for 30 seconds to loosen the skins then transfer to the ice-bath to cool down. Remove the skins, de-seed and dice into ¼ inch pieces. Reserve.
Heat a sauté pan on medium heat. Cut the bacon into ⅓ inch pieces and sauté until crisp. Transfer to a paper towel to dry. Reserve.
Roll up the basil leaves length-wise and finely cut into fine ribbons (chiffonade). Core the lettuce and cut lengthwise in half, remove the outer leaves and discard. Separate the lettuce into individual leaves and reserve. In a bowl mix the tomatoes, bacon and basil. Taste and season with salt and pepper. To serve add the tomato mixture on top of the lettuce leaf, sprinkle with croutons and roll. If you like you can slice some avocado and add to the wrap.
Serves 4 to 6.
Past Posts (click to select)
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.
How does a good chef think? What is the creative process a
chef uses to come up with new and exciting dishes? What do I need to know to enable that creative process? These are the questions I want to explore in this series of articles. As a chef and an avid cookbook collector I am drawn towards
ideas and techniques of cooking rather than just a collection of recipes. I believe to grow as a chef, I need to continually learn and hone new techniques along with perfecting each technique I use every day. Whenever I go to a restaurant, whether fine dining, neighborhood pub, avant garde, or even fast food, I continually ask myself how can I do this better, what works and more important, what doesn’t? Feel free to send me comments, ask questions. Together, we can explore and make creative cuisine.
Spending almost thirty years in the computing field, I was able to travel experiencing a wide variety of tremendous cuisine. First I became a foodie, and when the opportunity arose, I was able to attend culinary school following my passion. I work as a part-time private chef and volunteer time at the community café in North Bend Oregon providing affordable meals in a restaurant setting to my community.