Grilled Kale BLT Dip.

Ooooooh summer is a comin’!

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Guys. I can’t even wait. I am so excited for this long weekend, so excited for these next few months, I can’t even staaaaaand myself at the moment.

Or during most moments.

But today I sort of can, because I fried a pound of bacon and put it in a DIP! A total summer dip. A total Memorial Day picnic dip. I’m going to do some planting and go to a parade and eat bowls of dip with chips and maybe have one of those disgusting-yet-amazing strawberry beergaritas in a can since I couldn’t have one last year. Winning? I think so.

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This is, like, my 2015 version of that old-school BLT dip that usually consists of mayo, sour cream, bacon and chopped, never-ripe, orange-rocks-from-the-grocery-store tomatoes. Do you know that dip? It sounds atrocious but when you taste it, it tastes like a legit BLT. I don’t know how. I don’t know why. I think it’s alllllll the bacon.

The thing is that the ingredients kind of weird me in theory. And where is the lettuce? It’s never there, ever.

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It is now! Here’s the thing: I am getting so much better about loving mayo now that I’m making my own. Unrelated but totally related: this is also how I started to somewhat like vegetables, making them in my own favorite ways.

Anyhoo, now that I’ve started making my own mayo and I see how it’s made and what not, it’s not so scary. Even back in my mayo-hating days, I still loved the teeeeeniest smear of it on a BLT. And many times I would remove the L and the T because, vegetables.

So this! It’s like my grown up BLT dip. You still need the mayo. You really do. Okay, well, maybe YOU don’t. But if you serve this at a party and there are others there who enjoy classic BLTs, they will need the mayo. It makes a world of difference, trust me.

I did use some greek yogurt for the tang, frankly because I almost always have a gigantic tub on hand. Always.

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I used lots of bacon. Like, lotttttts of bacon. A whole pound. I actually used maple bacon too. Hello, lover. It was dreamy. Don’t skimp on the bacon!

For tomatoes, I used super-flavored cherry tomatoes. ACTually… they are the mini heavenly san marzano tomatoes. Do you have these at your grocery store? They are pretty much the ONLY tomatoes I use in the off tomato months. GET ‘EM!

And the L is grilled kale! Yeah yeah, more grilled lettuce. I’m not hating it. I love the little char and smoky flavor that the grill infuses into the kale – which, obviously, goes perfectly with the bacon.

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And. And and and. As if this dip wasn’t lovely enough, I brushed some ciabatta baguette slices with bacon grease and toasted them super quick. GAH. I have to say that out of crackers and chips and pretzels and all sorts of carby dippers, bread and baguettes win for this dip because that it’s REALLY like a BLT. You know? You have your B, your L, your T and your bread.

Since I just used up all of my life’s exclamation points as well as yours and every neighbor within my two mile radius, I have to say that this is worthy. I’m finishing it for lunch today. I so am.

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Grilled Kale BLT Dip

Ingredients:

1 pound of bacon, cooked and crumbled (a few tablespoons of fat reserved)
4 large kale leaves (curly green or lacinato both work!)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup greek yogurt
1 cup mayo
1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced or chopped
1 large ciabatta baguette, sliced into rounds

Directions:

I like to make the bacon first and set it aside - you can even made it a day ahead of time! When finished, be sure to reserve a few tablespoons of the bacon grease to make the baguettes. Heat the grease over low heat before using if it has solidified again.

Preheat your grill to the highest setting. Rub the kale leaves with olive oil and sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper. Once the grill is hot, place the leaves on the grill for just 1 minute or so per side, until they are dark green and slightly golden in spots. Remove the kale and let it cool until you can touch. I like to fold the leaves and slice out the stem, then use a large knife to slice and shred the kale into small pieces.

In a large bowl, whisk together the yogurt and mayo. Whisk in the pepper and garlic powder. Use a spatula or spoon to fold the crumbled bacon, tomatoes and kale into the dip - if desired, reserve a few bits of each for topping the dip. Mix and stir well until combined. Taste and add a bit of salt if needed - I find it really doesn't need it with all the bacon and the seasoned kale. Place the dip in the fridge for 30 minutes before serving.

Preheat your broiler to the highest setting. To toast the bread, slice a large baguette into 1/2-inch slices. Brush both sides with the reserved bacon grease. Place the bread slices on a broiler pan or on a wire rack fitted over a baking sheet. Broil for 1 to 2 minutes, watching the ENTIRE time so that they don't burn. Flip and broil for another 1 to 2 minutes. Serve with the dip!

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Dip for life.