BLT Panzanella Salad

Thanksgiving 2015 was a memorable and relaxing one... and turkey day is now over. Or is it?! We have plenty of leftovers on purpose because there are some great ways to use up that turkey. Do you have any favorite ways? Because we had our share of eating a full Thanksgiving spread over the past week, we're feeling like it's time to cleanse a bit. That means eating more roughage. Salads. And lots of it! But with all the leftover turkey, I wanted to incorporate it some how. To do so, we made a BLT Panzanella Salad that consist of bacon, lettuce and turkey! Fresh greens are tossed with crisp smoked bacon, turkey, tomatoes and cheese for a healthier twist on the traditional sandwich...

A panzanella is a classic Italian salad made with day old bread, tomatoes, onions and a simple vinegar and olive oil dressing. Taking the base recipe, I added bacon and turkey to make it a heartier salad perfect for a meal in of itself.

BLT Panzanella Salad
recipe adapted from Cooking Light

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3 ounces Italian bread, crusts trimmed, torn into 1/4-inch pieces
1 cup small grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup baby arugula and spinach mix
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
1 cup chopped roast turkey
applewood-smoked bacon slices, cooked and crumbled
1/8 teaspoon plus dash of kosher salt, divided
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter and add bread to toast. Sauté 5 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Transfer bread to a large bowl.

Add the tomatoes, greens, onions, turkey and bacon to the bowl.

Combine the salt, pepper, vinegar and oil in a small bowl and whisk. Drizzle over salad in bowl and toss to coat.

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