Panera Bread make a really yummy turkey, avocado blt sandwich using sourdough bread & it was the inspiration for this salad…minus the turkey…and the bread. I was craving their sandwich but I had neither turkey or bread & zero inclination to pop out to the store. Instead I whipped up this simple, scrumptious salad with ingredients I had on hand.
Panera puts a creamy dressing on their turkey avo blt sandwich but I didn’t have creamy dressing either so I made ranch dressing (as one does). I couldn’t manage to make a sandwich but I could make ranch dressing…go figure. Anyway, not being a big fan of ranch dressing, I really didn’t have much to go on. Ranch dressing is a North American thing, just so you know – people all over the world do not eat ranch dressing. Just as well, that shit is fattening. I’d never even heard of ranch dressing let alone tried it until I visited The US back in 1999. When I asked my American husband if my ranch dressing was comparable to bottled ranch dressing he said “yes, but yours is much better”. Smart man.
This ranch dressing recipe makes more than you need for the salad (I thought making only a small amount was a bit of a waste of time) but it will keep in the fridge for a couple of weeks. Use it on other salads or dip peppery radishes, sweet carrots and crispy cucumber into it. I added a little sriracha sauce to some of the dressing for my salad…that worked.
Croutons would also be nice if you have any lurking in your cupboard. We didn’t have any of those either. Can you tell it’s the day before I do the big weekly shop? I always shop on a Friday so Thursday night meals are often interesting as I search fridge, freezer & pantry for ingredients to make a nice dinner. Be impressed I came up with this ok.
- 3/4 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
- 2 small garlic cloves
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Place all ingredients in a small bowl; using a hand-held wand blender, blend until smooth. Or use a blender.
- The dressing will keep for 2 weeks in a sealed jar in the fridge. To lighten the dressing up a little, use lower fat sour cream and mayonnaise.
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 romaine (cos) lettuce, cut into 1-inch (2.5cm) pieces
- 1 lb (450g) campari (or small vine-ripened) tomatoes, quartered
- 6 slices bacon, cooked according to package directions and coarsely chopped
- 1 ripe avocado, halved and sliced
- 1/3 cup ranch dressing (see recipe above)
- Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper. When I’m grilling chicken I often marinate it in some barbecue sauce, Worcestershire sauce, mustard & sweet chili sauce – whatever I have on hand really, anything will work. Grill or pan fry chicken 4 to 5 minutes each side until thoroughly cooked. Let rest 5 minutes before cutting into slices.
- Put a couple of generous handfuls of lettuce on two serving plates. Add tomatoes, chicken, bacon & avocado. Drizzle with ranch dressing.