BEST SALAD FOR A CROWD! (Adapted from taste of home)

This salad is just perfect for a tailgate party. The only thing you have to chop just prior to serving are the tomatoes. It big enough for a crowd, and I just made the dressing in advance, bagged the toasted almonds and bacon and croutons, and simply threw all the ingredients together right before serving. The addition of swiss cheese really sets it apart!
3/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 bunches (1 pound each) romaine, torn
2 cups chopped tomatoes
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Swiss cheese
2/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted, optional
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
8 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
1 cup croutons (see below)

In a jar with tight-fitting lid, combine the oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper; cover and shake well. Chill.

In a large serving bowl, toss the romaine, tomatoes, Swiss cheese, almonds if desired, Parmesan cheese and bacon. Shake dressing; pour over salad and toss. Add croutons and serve immediately.
Yield: 14 servings (1 cup each).
Crouton Recipe
(food network)
Day old French bread
Olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut bread into cubes and place in a large bowl.
Drizzle cubes with olive oil, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Mix well.
Spread seasoned bread onto a sheet pan, and bake for about 15 minutes.

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