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.
With the exception of the avocado, everything can be cut, crumbled, chopped and refrigerated up to 12 hours in advance. Assemble just before serving.