BLT stands for Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato, which are placed between two slices of toasted white bread spread with mayonnaise. It is one of the most popular American sandwiches, and by now is known in many other countries as well. The very simple combination of the main ingredients works so well together, with the saltiness of the bacon, slight acidity and sweetness of the tomatoes and the fresh and crisp lettuce.
However, too often this sandwich is made with stale commercial bread, lesser quality bacon, inferior tomatoes, that were cut in advance and kept in the fridge, far from fresh lettuce, and with too much mayonnaise on both sides of the bread.
The best way to avoid such poorly executed BLT sandwiches is to prepare them at home, according to one’s liking, and enjoy this tasty sandwich fully.
Here is my version of this sandwich, along with a salad based on the same ingredients. Both making use of summer vine ripened tomatoes and very fresh lettuce, with an addition of endive in the sandwich, and fruity Balsamic vinaigrette in the salad. Try one or both and enjoy.
* For best results, use good quality bacon. My personal preference it so cook it in the oven, until it’s on the verge of almost burnt and very crispy, drain the fat (keep it for making cornbread, recipe for which can be found HERE) and place on paper towels to absorb extra fat.
* While most BLT sandwiches use crispy iceberg lettuce, I prefer to use more flavorful types of lettuce: Romaine lettuce for the sandwich and Boston lettuce for the salad.
* Fresh vine ripened tomatoes that were not refrigerated are a must here. While most call for adding the lettuce first, I prefer to place the tomatoes over the bread, so that it will absorb the juices better. This, however, means that the sandwich is to be eaten very soon after assembling.
* I used Kaiser roll for the sandwich, but any other type of bread can be used instead.
Lightly toast 1 Kaiser roll cut in half. Spread thin amount of mayonnaise on both sides. Add sliced ripe tomatoes (see notes) and sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper. Add a layer of washed and dried romaine lettuce and endive (optional) and top with a generous amount of very crispy bacon (see notes). Serve immediately.
The vinaigrette: in a small bowl, whisk together 3 Tbs aged Balsamic vinegar, 2 Tbs Balsamic pear vinegar, 1 tsp Dijon mustard, 1 tsp salt, and ¼ tsp freshly ground pepper. Whisk in ½ cup extra virgin olive oil, to create a smooth and thick vinaigrette.
The salad: arrange a layer of washed and dried Boston lettuce leaves on a large serving plate. Arrange slices of ripe tomatoes on top and scatter thinly sliced ½ shallot. Add a generous amount of crumbled crispy bacon (see notes) on top. Drizzle some of the balsamic vinaigrette on top and serve immediately, with lightly toasted crusty bread and the rest of the vinaigrette on the side.