Photo: Alison Miksch, Food Styling: Blakeslee Giles, Prop Styling: Audrey Davis
This amazingly flavorful salad gives the full experience of a sauce-laden bbq sandwich, but without all of the extra bread (or the mess). Resting on a bed of hearty mixed greens and drizzled with a from-scratch buttermilk-ranch dressing, this salad is a bright and fresh cookout alternative that just might be the bbq experience that beats them all.
Serves 4-6 (serving size: 1/2 cup pork, 3/4 cup coleslaw, 1/2 cup french fries)
1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Combine water, vinegar, sugar, salt, mustard seed, coriander seed, and peppercorns in a saucepan; bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Pour over cucumbers in a large heat-proof bowl; let sit for 10 minutes, or until cucumbers soften. Refrigerate for up to 1 month. Chill at least 4 hours before serving.
2. Toss bread pieces, oil, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Spread in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet and bake in preheated oven until golden and crisp, about 10 minutes, stirring halfway through. Let cool completely, about 30 minutes.
3. Combine buttermilk, mayonnaise, sour cream, parsley, chives, mustard, salt, garlic, and pepper in a small bowl. Refrigerate until ready to use.
4. Bake French fries in preheated oven on a rimmed baking sheet according to package directions. Set aside.
5. Toss lettuce and coleslaw mix in a large bowl with 6 tablespoons ranch dressing. Divide amongst 4 plates. Top with pork, croutons, french fries, and pickles. Drizzle with BBQ sauce and more ranch.