Kansas Chopped Salad with Peppercorn Ranch

Kansas Chopped Salad with Peppercorn Ranch recipeI love to order salad in a restaurant. For some reason salad tastes even better when someone else makes it for you. I know that salad is supposed to be fancy these days, with dark greens and things like roasted butternut squash and pistachios running through it. And I do love salad like that too. But I really love an all-American classic green salad. If I am being perfectly honest it is my favorite bacon, cheese, and crouton delivery system. I love how crunchy and crisp it is. I like to make all of my own dressings and croutons. I like to make my own ranch; it is mayo-free so it is not entirely traditional, but I love it and make it all the time. Making croutons is also a great way to use some bread that needs a second life. I could eat this salad every single day of my life and be perfectly happy.

Kansas holds a special place in my heart. We lived there for a year and it is a beautiful place. Contrary to what I believed previously, it is lush and green with gorgeous farms everywhere. We spent a lot of time exploring and meeting the amazing people of Kansas. Bacon is a staple at our house and one of the only foods everyone here agrees upon. The Kansas Pork Association asked me to create a recipe featuring bacon (uh, no problem) and share their “Your Bacon Starts Here” campaign with a chance to win a year’s supply of bacon. (You can find out the details at the bottom of this post.) You can watch videos showcasing Kansas farmers and their families. These farmers are truly feeding America.

You can watch the Wondra family and their children and see a true family farm in action. This family takes an immense amount of pride in what they do and the quality of the product they create.

Kansas Chopped Salad with Peppercorn Ranch recipeCroutons:
4 ciabatta rolls (or any bread that you have around)
Olive oil
Seasoned salt

Peppercorn Ranch:
1 cup sour cream
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
1 Tablespoon fresh dill
1/4 to 1/2 cup buttermilk

Salad:
Romaine
Flat leaf parsley
Fresh dill
Red pepper
Carrots
Corn
Cucumber
Tomatoes
Shredded cheddar cheese
Radishes
Avocado
Crispy bacon pieces

Kansas Chopped Salad with Peppercorn Ranch recipeTo make the croutons, cut the rolls or bread into small pieces. Add to a cast iron pan or sheet pan. Generously drizzle with olive oil and seasoned salt. Toss to combine.

Kansas Chopped Salad with Peppercorn Ranch recipeToast in a 375 degree oven, tossing occasionally. Or do it on the stove over medium-high heat. Set aside.

peppercorn ranchTo make the dressing, combine sour cream, garlic, worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, salt, pepper, and dill.

peppercorn ranch dressing recipeAdd buttermilk, I add enough to get the consistency that I like.

how to grill cornI like to grill the corn in a cast iron pan. I just heat the pan over medium-high heat and add the corn to a dry pan. I let it brown on each side until it is nice and charred. Then I cut it off the cob.

how to cook bacon bitsAfter I cook the corn, I use the same pan that I used for the croutons and corn to cook the bacon. I like to cut my bacon with scissors. It is my favorite way to cut most things.

how to cook bacon bitsAdd the bacon to the pan with a few tablespoons of water. I know it seems weird, but I saw Alex Guarnaschelli do it on the Cooking Channel one day and tried it and I swear, it makes the bacon crispier somehow.

how to cook bacon bits Cook the bacon until it is golden brown and crispy. Drain on a paper-towel lined plate.

kansas chopped salad recipeAdd the vegetables, cheese, and bacon to a large bowl. Add dressing and croutons.

Enter to win a YEAR’S SUPPLY OF BACON! Head over to the Kansas Pork Association’s facebook page and upload an original photo demonstrating your devotion to all things bacon for a chance to win a year’s supply of Farmland Foods bacon. One grand prize winner will be randomly selected on November 12, 2013 with $500 in coupons for bacon- keeping bacon at your fingertips ALL YEAR LONG.

Kansas Chopped Salad with Peppercorn Ranch

Kansas Chopped Salad with Peppercorn Ranch

Yield: serves 4 to 6

Kansas Chopped Salad with Peppercorn Ranch - a classic garden salad with bacon and homemade peppercorn ranch dressing.

Ingredients

Croutons:

  • 4 ciabatta rolls
  • Olive oil
  • Seasoned salt

Peppercorn Ranch:

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh dill
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup buttermilk

Salad:

  • Romaine
  • Flat leaf parsley
  • Fresh dill
  • Red pepper
  • Carrots
  • Corn
  • Cucumber
  • Tomatoes
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Radishes
  • Avocado
  • Crispy bacon pieces

Instructions

  1. To make the croutons, cut the rolls or bread into small pieces. Add to a cast iron pan or sheet pan. Generously drizzle with olive oil and seasoned salt. Toss to combine. Toast in a 375 degree oven, tossing occasionally. Or do it on the stove over medium-high heat. Set aside.
  2. To make the dressing, combine sour cream, garlic, worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, salt, pepper, and dill. Add buttermilk, I add enough to get the consistency that I like.
  3. I like to grill the corn in a cast iron pan. I just heat the pan over medium-high heat and add the corn to a dry pan. I let it brown on each side until it is nice and charred. Then I cut it off the cob.
  4. Add the bacon to a cast iron pan with a few tablespoons of water. I know it seems weird, but I saw Alex Guarnaschelli do it on the Cooking Channel one day and tried it and I swear, it makes the bacon crispier somehow. Cook the bacon until it is golden brown and crispy. Drain on a paper-towel lined plate.
  5. Add the vegetables, cheese, and bacon to a large bowl. Add dressing and croutons.
Nutrition Information:

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 0Total Fat: 0g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

**Disclaimer:  This post was sponsored by the Kansas Pork Association. All opinions and views are 100% my own.**

Oh hey there!

Well, hello there! I’m Bree Hester, the Boston-based blogger and food photographer here at Baked Bree. Here you can get lots of weeknight meal inspiration, eat more plant-based meals, and still indulge in a decadent sweet treat. Baked Bree is a place where you will find great recipes and inspiration for your next family adventure.

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This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. Cookbook Queen

    I LOVE ordering salads too…they are SO good but sometimes a lot of work to make at home. I think I’d deal with the hassle for this one, though. That dressing is too fabulous!!

    1. bakedbree

      They are a pain sometimes, aren’t they? But I LOVE a big salad. And yes, this dressing is good on EVERYTHING.

  2. Angie

    Looks wonderful. I like the idea of roasting the corn on a pan on the stove.

    1. bakedbree

      Thank you Angie! I love that pan. I use it all the time.

  3. Loretta

    My homemade salads are never as juicy as restaurant salads probably because I rarely use a ton of ingredients and that’s how I love ’em! Thanks for the great recipe!

    1. bakedbree

      You are welcome! I love a good salad.

  4. Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious

    What a GORGEOUS salad! And with bacon, how can I resist?!

    1. bakedbree

      Thank you!!

  5. Linda

    The croutons were great! I wasn’t that crazy about the salad dressing though. It just didn’t seem very Peppercorn Ranchy.

    1. Bree Hester

      Sorry, you can always adjust dressings to taste.

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