- 3 cups 1-inch-cubed crusty white bread
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 3/4 pound sliced bacon
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 3 tablespoons buttermilk
- 1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- Cayenne pepper
- 1/4 pound blue cheese, preferably Maytag, crumbled (3/4 cup)
- 1 head iceberg lettuce, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 celery rib, thinly sliced
- Preheat the oven to 350°. On a baking sheet, toss the bread cubes with 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil and toast for 15 minutes, stirring once or twice, until the bread is golden and crisp.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook the bacon over moderately high heat, turning once, until crisp, about 6 minutes. Drain on paper towels and crumble.
- In a small bowl, using the back of a spoon, mash the garlic to a paste with a pinch of salt. Whisk in the mayonnaise, buttermilk, vinegar and mustard. Gradually whisk in the remaining 1/2 cup of vegetable oil and season with salt and cayenne. Stir in the blue cheese.
- In a large bowl, toss the lettuce, onion, celery, bacon and croutons with the dressing and serve right away.
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