BLT panzanella salad lunch recipe from Firebird Tavern

Firebird Tavern in Greektown is open for lunch, and it's the perfect place to take that much-needed break away from your desk. 

Chef Jared Reihemer joined us on The Nine to tell us about their new menu, and to show us how to make a BLT panzanella salad. You can watch as he makes the dish in the video player above, and get his recipe below. 

FIREBIRD TAVERN'S BLT PANZANELLA SALAD (SERVES 4)
4 cups Schiacciata (or other crust bread) cut into ¾ inch cubes and lightly toasted
2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
½ - 1 cup Roasted tomato vinaigrette
8 ounces good aged sharp cheddar, broken into roughly ½ inch pieces
4 cups baby arugula
8 strips thick cut bacon, cooked and cut into ¾ inch pieces.
¼ cup garlic mayo drizzle

1.       Place bread and grape tomatoes in mixing bowl and toss with just enough dressing to coat thoroughly.
2.       Allow dressing and tomato juices to soak into bread slightly, about 5 minutes.
3.       Add cheese and arugula and toss to combine.
4.       Split salad amongst 4 plates or bowls.
5.       Divide bacon pieces evenly over the top of all 4 salads and drizzle each with garlic mayo.
 
ROASTED TOMATO VINAIGRETTE
2 Pint grape tomatoes
1 Tbsp. garlic, minced
1 ½ Cups olive oil, divided
1 cup Sherry vinegar
1 tsp. Dried oregano
1 Tbsp. Honey
Salt and pepper to taste.

1.       Heat oven to 450 degrees.
2.       Toss grape tomatoes with minced garlic and 2 Tbsp. oil.
3.       Spread tomatoes out onto baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes, stirring half way, until tomatoes begin to burst and some of the juices caramelize.
4.       Cool tomatoes slightly and add to blender with vinegar, oregano, and honey.
5.       Blend until smooth and then with blender still running slowly stream in remaining oil.
6.       Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper.