BLT sandwiches seem to be having a moment right now. I mean, it makes sense for everyone to be wanting a BLT at this time because it is after all peak tomato season, a.k.a. THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR! But for me, a little BLT sandwich is still not enough tomato. My obsession with the produce bounty of late summer is so strong, that it can only be satiated with an entire platter of tomatoes! And that, dear reader, is where the BLT Salad comes in.
Imagine a scenario where, instead of biting into your favorite ingredients of a BLT and having those precious sweet peak-season tomato juices running down your hands, a civilized fork allows you to assemble the perfect bite without the sticky mess. That is the beauty of the BLT Salad. I thought of doing this as a panzanella with nicely seasoned croutons to continue to honor the sandwich origins of this flavor combo, but I realized I was too proud of my smashed potatoes recipe to not want to share it with you all. And there is something about the creamy fluffiness of those potatoes that goes so well with the juicy tomatoes and the salty bacon. Hence, I now present to you my BLT salad with crispy smashed potatoes and, of course, burrata.
These crispy smashed potatoes are so good as part of a breakfast platter, as a side dish with whipped feta and herbs, and—obviously—as a way to bring heartiness to a salad. I use Spice Tribe’s Mama Manje Haitian-inspired seasoning blend whenever I make them, and these seasonings blooming in the oven as the potatoes roast makes my whole house smell so, so good. The blend was inspired by Spice Tribe founder Trent’s visit to Haiti with the non-profit Every Mother Counts, and is meant to capture a combination of the ingredients in epis, a foundational seasoning blend for Haitian cuisine, and the tea that is commonly drunk by Haitians. To me, the combination of green bell pepper, onion, thyme, cinnamon, garlic, ginger, habanero, and star anise works so well as an all-purpose seasoning, and in addition to this smashed potatoes recipe, I have been using it whenever I want to imbue a dish with a complex blend of flavors and not have to think too much about it.