Grilled BLT Salad with Buttermilk Dressing with Guest Chef Sara Moulton

September 12, 2022


Makes 4 Servings

When Sara Moulton kicked off her seventh season as host of public television’s “Sara’s Weeknight Meals,” in September of 2017, it was the latest milestone in a storied career that stretches back more than 30 years. A protégée of Julia Child, Sara was the co-founder of the New York Women’s Culinary Alliance, executive chef of Gourmet magazine, Food Editor of ABC-TV’s ”Good Morning America,” and the host of several well-loved shows on the Food Network during that channel’s first decade.


For the dressing:

  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • ½ teaspoon finely minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped scallion (white and green parts)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh tarragon
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • Kosher salt and black pepper

For the salad:

  • 2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 3 slices rustic bread, crusts removed
  • extra-virgin olive oil for brushing the lettuce and the bread
  • 2 hearts romaine, halved lengthwise, leaving the cores intact.

The dressing’s one essential ingredient is garlic, but the other flavorings are up to you.  Not a fan of tarragon or scallion?  Use dill, chives, basil or oregano instead.


1. Preheat the grill to medium.

2. Make the dressing: In a medium bowl combine all the ingredients and whisk well. Add salt and pepper to taste and set aside.

3. Make the salad: In a colander toss the tomatoes with the salt and let drain while you prepare the rest of the salad.

4. Heat a large skillet over medium heat, add the bacon and cook until crisp on both sides, about 5 minutes total, transfer to paper towels to drain and crumble when cool.

5. Brush the bread on both sides with some oil and grill the bread until toasted on both sides, about 1 to 2 minutes a side. Transfer to a rack, let cool, and cut into squares.

6. Brush the cut sides of the romaine with oil and add the romaine to the grill, cut side down. Grill just until the romaine is lightly charred on the cut side, about 2 minutes.

7. Transfer the romaine halves to each of 4 plates, cut side up, top each portion with one-fourth of the tomatoes, croutons, and bacon and drizzle some of the dressing over each portion.

Functional Food Benefits: 

Romaine lettuce is rich with nutrients, antioxidants and provides multiple health benefits. Romaine lettuce contains Vitamin C which helps support the immune system and Calcium which is necessary for the building and maintenance of bones, muscle function, nerve function, and blood clotting.