Ranch BLT Pasta Salad

BLT Salad

It’s hard to believe that I have been home from my trip for almost a week.  Slowly, very slowly, I’m returning to Pacific Daylight Time and am now sleeping until 4:00 am instead of 1:30.  I expected to go through this adjustment but I think it gets more difficult as I get older.  Several years ago I came home from France three days before my farmers’  market season opened and I was all ready to go on opening day.  It would be a sad story if I had to do that today.  Travel day was a long one with a 9 hour flight to Washington, D.C. from Paris, followed by a 5 hour flight to Portland.  My flight arrived at PDX at 8:30 pm and by the time I got my luggage and drove the hour home from the airport it was 11:00 when I walked through my front door. 

BLT Pasta Salad

Our Saturday flight out of Charles de Gaulle airport departed at 12:35 pm so we had a car pick us up at the apartment at 9:30 am.  There was very little traffic so the drive took about 40 minutes.  We immediately got in the line to claim our VAT tax refunds (there were at least 500 people in the line, I swear), then we had to get in line to check our bags (that took forever), and then had to go through security (which took longer than forever). The fun started when the security person wanted to see the two copper pans that were so carefully packed in my suitcase and I had to undo everything to get them out for a show and tell. There was no problem with the pans, but when they saw ten little silver desserts forks that I bought in  the flea market in Paris and said I couldn’t take them through security, honest-to-god I almost started to cry.  After a minute or two of intense discussion the security person motioned for me to put the silver back into my suitcase and move on.  Whew! That was way too much drama for my nerves. It never occurred to me that there would be any problem with those little forks.  I’ll pay more attention next time to what I put into my suitcase.  Everything turned out OK and we eventually got through all the lines, but the whole process took forever and we barely made it to the boarding area in time.  When they say to be there an hour before boarding they mean it!  We thought leaving for the airport 3 hours ahead was enough time…guess not!

If you are wondering why I’m telling you a story about my travel adventure and showing you a picture of  pasta salad it is because when I got home almost at midnight, practically starving to death, I found a sweet note from my daughter, Erin, that welcomed me home and told me that there was a bowl of BLT pasta salad waiting for me in the fridge along with guacamole and chips from our favorite Mexican restaurant and a banana and yogurt.  How completely thoughtful was that!!!!!  My body thought it should be 9:00 in the morning instead of midnight and I was ready for something that tasted like home.  That was the best pasta salad ever and I know you will enjoy it as much as I did.  

My daughter, Erin, is a blogger as well and I hope you will stop by to visit her at Making Memories With Your Kids.  She is quite the baker and is so creative with craft and activity ideas for kids.  She has lots of great ideas for parents and grandparents for summer activities for the family. 

Ranch BLT Pasta Salad
  • 8 ounces pasta - Penne was used in this recipe, but almost any shape would work well
  • ¾ cup Ranch Salad Dressing, homemade or purchased
  • 1-1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 cup Swiss cheese, cut into a small dice
  • ½ cup thinly sliced red onion
  • ½ pound bacon, cooked crisp, then chopped
  • 2 cups chopped romaine or iceberg lettuce
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • chopped fresh parsley
  1. Cook pasta al dente according to package directions.
  2. Drain pasta, toss with a little dressing to lightly coat, and refrigerate until cold.
  3. In a large bowl toss the cold pasta with tomatoes, Swiss cheese, onions, bacon and lettuce.
  4. Add enough dressing to coat ingredients and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley

This post is linked to FOODIE FRIDAY at Rattlebridge Farm.


  1. says

    Oh Cathy, I totally can relate to your security experience in Paris. We had been wait-listed on our flight…and we had no idea why. After waiting over an hour they found two seats and we were lucky enough to get them. The plane was to leave in 30 minutes. Then we had to go through security and they made me empty my carry on. We had to run to the gate and we could hear them calling our names. We got there before they closed the doors. My seat was occupied…they had already assigned it to somebody. After waiting in the aisle for another 10 minutes, they found me a seat next to a very LARGE man….maybe I had half of a seat. It was a long flight home.

    The salad sounds yummy! Ranch dressing and bacon and pasta, oh, yes!
    Kate recently posted..Cherry IceMy Profile

  2. says

    The pasta salad sounds yummy! What is it with forks??? I always carry an “emergency fork” in my bag for in case I forget to pack one for lunch, they confiscated it when I was on jury duty! Glad you were allowed to keep your flea market finds-enjoy:@)
    Happier Than A Pig in Mud recently posted..Lily of the ValleyMy Profile

  3. says

    As they say around these parts “I’ll bet you wanted to hug that girls neck” – the pasta salad looks delicious. Seems as though an easy, low stress flight used to be pretty common, but now seems to be the rare exception, which is part of the reason I’ll be RVing around America vs. flying to far away places.

  4. says

    Aw, Cathy, the daughter that wasn’t able to join you on your trip left you such a welcome treat. Interestingly, we always seem to get the first flight out of Paris for home, so the coffee is barely brewed at CDG when we get there. We have personally never gone through the VAT line, so don’t know what that is about. Ha..we avoid lines whenever possible. We also catch the Roissey bus at the Opera for the trip to the airport. Always on time and that early in the morning, very little traffic to slow us. Once again our paranoia…we know the bus will show up, but the taxi…we always doubt. Traveling is difficult. Every trip we learn something new. Glad those forks got home.
    Susan recently posted..A lucky find and a delightful treatMy Profile

    • says

      Taxis in Paris are so unreliable and we only use one when a hotel or management company orders it for us. Our apartment manager arranged it for us and it worked out well. We always have to change planes between Paris and Portland and sometimes our landing time can be tricky. I don’t want a friend of child to pick us up in the middle of the night. I live a long way from the airport. I agree, travel can be difficult and exhausting. I can tell that it is becoming more of an endurance ordeal. Don’t know how many more trips I have in me. I think I’ll stick to 2 weeks from now on instead of 3.
      Cathy recently posted..Ranch BLT Pasta Salad and a Travel StoryMy Profile

  5. says

    OK the pasta salad brought a tear to my eye..see what a mush I am?

    Our daughter does the same thing.she puts milk in the fridge..muffins on the counter..:) I know she knows how much I appreciate it..but do they know that these are MOMENTS?:)
    You’ve just made me read your post out loud to J as we sit across from each other eating our breakfasts w/ our respective small computers..
    Oh I would have cried too over the cutlery..it’s the memories of when and where we bought them etc!!What a way to tarnish an au revoir..great you were able to keep them..I still love my little European treasures..

    Still regret the wicker trolley!!LOL..In Provence..at a market..Jacques said..:”you’re kidding right?” (in French..)..I didn’t think I was kidding but left it there..Now I am glad I did..leaving it there..well the joke would have been on me:)

    Again..BEAUTIFUL salad:)
    Monique recently posted..Asparagus Inspires Gentle Thoughts~My Profile

  6. says

    Your story of security and the little forks sounds very frustrating. It’s amazing what a hassle they can give you. I’ll remember to cry next time. Maybe it will help me.

    Your daughter is an angel. We had dinner in the refrig waiting for my BIL and his wife after a long driving trip the other dy and they were thrilled. It’s one of THE best things you can do for a weary traveler. I can only imagine how hard the jet lag must be when you have to fly to the west coast after a transatlantic flight. It takes me days to get over it and we stop on the east coast. Coming back is much worse than going over because of the upper winds and the length of the flight. Rest, take a easy, and settle in.
    Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen recently posted..Citrusy Tomato and Olive Salsa with SalmonMy Profile

  7. Pondside says

    What a sweet thing for your daughter to do. When I return from a long trip I want something ‘clean’ and homey and a pasta salad would fit the bill!
    You shop for the same sort of souvenirs as I!

  8. Lulu says

    I totally sympathize with your DeGaulle adventure. We also just returned from France, and the experience there was crazy. In our case , the arrival was worse than the departure. As for VAT, I decided just to leave it there rather than battle the line.
    Lucky you to have a tasty dish waiting for you.

  9. says

    Cathy, this wonder gesture must have touched your heart & will remain with you forever! Aren’t we lucky to have such thoughtful, caring daughters? My pre-baked Mothers Day breakfast quiche was one of the best gifts I have ever received.

    I have all the ingredients in the house to make up this deliciously looking pasta salad. Can’t wait to try it. Thank you for sharing the recipe.
    Take a nap…sounds like you’re still catching up.

    Rettabug recently posted..Lemon Supreme PieMy Profile

  10. says

    The salad sounds delicious!
    I am so glad you made it home safe and sound with the little silver forks.
    The last time I was there I tried to bring home some amazing chocolate sauce and had to dump it. I didn’t want it to break in my checked in baggage. What was I thinking.
    Marilyn recently posted..Find the MagicMy Profile

  11. says

    Aww Cathy, I know you were ecstatic to find that delicious salad from your daughter. What a thoughtful and most appreciated gesture!!! What an ordeal at the airport, but so glad to hear that you were able to keep the forks. I look forward to hearing more about your trip. Our youngest son and DIL are on their way home from France and Italy right now. I can’t wait to see pics!
    Rest up!!
    Kitty recently posted..Chicken Pot Pie with Puff Pastry CrustMy Profile

  12. says

    ok, this worries me. I’ve never been to Europe and as you know going in October. When I get back I do have to go back to work. I can’t afford to be out of kilter like that for a week. Anyway, how wonderful to have this bowl of pasta waiting for you in the fridge. And, so glad you made it back with those forks. I’m surprised it mattered in your suitcase. And yay for new copper pans.
    Lea Ann (Cooking On The Ranch) recently posted..Chicken Salad with Strawberries and Red OnionsMy Profile

  13. says

    What a stressful security line story, Cathy! I’m so happy that it ended well for you and that you didn’t miss your flight. That alone, not to mention the long flight times would have been enough to exhaust anyone.

    What a dear, dear daughter to leave food for you. The pasty salad sounds delicious and my hubby would love the bacon in it :)

    Once again, welcome home!
    Susan recently posted..Sweet and Spicy Cashew Chicken with QuinoaMy Profile

  14. says

    I remember going through security on an international flight for the first time and how totally freaked out I was that I might have unknowingly brought something through I shouldn’t have. Glad you are home and your daughter sounds like a real sweetheart to have that food ready and waiting for you. The salad looks delicious.
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  15. says

    I have to laugh Cathy because I always have trouble at the airport when I return from London. It seems they wave everyone through customs then when it’s my turn, they want to open my suitcase and check it. They always laugh when they see olive oil, pasta, spices, vinegars etc. etc. What a sweet treat to come home to, you have a very thoughtful daughter!
    The Café Sucre Farine recently posted..Best Ever!!! Marinara SauceMy Profile

  16. says

    Welcome home! I would have been devastated if they wouldn’t let me bring in the forks – I am so glad it worked out. Your daughter is very thoughtful to put this pasta salad in your fridge along with the other goodies.
    Pam recently posted..Banana and Candy Pecan CakeMy Profile

  17. says

    Oh your daughter is so sweet! How wonderful! Maybe the best part of the whole, trip, isn’t it? And lucky lucky you with the forks! Oh my I have lost some precious things at security checks! My recent trip from Florida back to France had one security person after the next going through my carry on luggage because I had two metal baked donut pans and the series of round indentations came up on the screen when it passed through the detector and it confused the heck out of them. So much for careful puzzle-type packing. Glad you had a wonderful trip to France!
    Jamie recently posted..Crémet NantaisMy Profile

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