French Toast BLT with Roasted-Garlic Vinaigrette


12 thick slices smoked bacon
2 cups heavy cream
5 eggs
Coarse salt and ground black pepper
6 slices challah bread, at least 1-inch thick
>2 tbsp canola oil
2 ½ cups grated Gruyère cheese
12 slices tomato (about 3 small ripe tomatoes)
6 cups cleaned arugula
Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette (see recipe below)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place bacon on a sheet tray and bake until crispy, 10 to 15 minutes. Keep oven at 350.

Combine heavy cream and eggs in a bowl and whisk thoroughly. Season mixture with salt and pepper to taste. Soak bread in mixture for 15 minutes, then turn slices over and soak for an additional 10 to 15 minutes.

Place a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Put canola oil in the pan. Once oil is hot (it will shimmer slightly), fry challah slices on each side until golden brown, working in batches. Transfer the challah to a baking sheet and place in preheated oven. The "custard" must cook through and bread should soufflé, or puff up, about 6 to 8 minutes.

Remove from oven, cover each slice with grated cheese, and return sheet to oven to melt cheese. Once cheese is melted, about 4 minutes, remove bread from oven.

Place 2 slices bacon and 2 slices tomato on each slice of challah, making 6 servings, and drizzle with roasted-garlic vinaigrette. Toss arugula with the remaining dressing (or enough to coat) and place atop each piece.

Serve warm.

Roasted-Garlic Vinaigrette: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Slice tops off 3 heads of garlic so cloves are exposed. Place heads in a baking dish and drizzle with olive oil. Cover dish with foil and roast until garlic is golden brown and fragrant, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove garlic from oven. Cool briefly before squeezing cloves out of their skins into the bowl of a blender. Combine with 2 tbsp sherry vinegar and 1 tsp Dijon mustard, blending until smooth. With the machine running, slowly drizzle in ¾ cup olive oil. Keep blender running and season with salt and pepper.

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