With this sandwich-inspired salad, you get to enjoy a classic flavor combination, skip the bread and cut way back on the bacon. The basil-balsamic dressing is lighter than a mayonnaise-based spread.
I like to serve it as a meal in a big bowl with the ingredients laid out across the lettuce. Bring it to the table that way, then dress and toss the salad just before serving. I use an extra-sharp cheddar; crumbled instead of cut, the cheese blends in better.
Chopped Turkey Club Salad with Basil Balsamic Dressing
Make ahead: With the exception of the avocado, everything can be cut, crumbled, chopped and refrigerated up to 12 hours in advance. Assemble just before serving.
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon-style mustard
About 1/2 cup loosely packed basil leaves, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon sugar, or to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
About 12 ounces lettuce(s) of your choice, trimmed, cleaned and cut into squares no larger than 1/2 inch
12 ounces cooked turkey breast, cut into cubes no larger than 1/2 inch (3 cups)
12 ounces roma tomatoes, cut into 1/4 -inch pieces
Flesh of 1 ripe avocado, cut into 1/4 -inch pieces
6 ounces extra-sharp white cheddar, crumbled into 1/4 -inch pieces (scant 2 cups)
3 ounces sliced applewood or hickory smoked bacon, cooked, drained and crumbled
Whisk together the balsamic and red wine vinegars, mustard, basil and sugar in a medium bowl; season with salt and pepper to taste. Slowly drizzle in the oil, whisking to form an emulsified dressing. Taste, and adjust the seasoning as needed.
Line a large, shallow serving bowl with the lettuce. Working with one ingredient at a time, form channels or lines of the turkey, tomatoes, avocado, cheese and bacon across the surface. Bring to the table and pour the dressing over the salad; toss to incorporate.
Serve right away. Makes 4 to 6 servings.