12 oz. thick-cut bacon, cut into 1″ pieces
2 c. ciabatta bread, torn into small pieces
Freshly ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
5 oz. arugula
1 lb. very ripe tomatoes, mixed varieties and sizes, cut into bite-size pieces
1 small red onion, sliced thinly
1/2 c. chopped parsley
1/4 c. torn basil leaves
Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat and add bacon in an even layer. Fry until crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer bacon using a slotted spoon onto a paper towel-lined plate. Set aside. Remove half the bacon fat and reserve.
Return pan to medium heat and toss bread in bacon fat; season with salt and black pepper. Toast until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer croutons to a bowl and set aside.
Add remaining bacon fat to sauté pan and toss with garlic over medium heat. Sauté until garlic is softened, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir together with balsamic vinegar, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.
Add arugula, tomatoes, red onion, parsley, and croutons; toss together with dressing. Top with bacon and basil. Serve immediately.