To me, the tastes of summer have always included watermelon and peaches and corn… But the thing that speaks summer to me the most is the good old-fashioned tomato. Whenever I tell my husband that tomatoes are ripening in my garden, he gets disappointed when I bring in a handful of cherry tomatoes. When the big guys start getting ripe, that’s when the real fun begins.
One of the foods that I hated as a child but love now would be the BLT sandwich. I’m not a big bacon person, which puts me at odds with the rest of Iowa. We Iowans have the blue ribbon bacon festival every year, which sports everything from bacon-flavored beer to bacon-flavored ice cream, not counting bacon-wrapped everything.
This version of the old classic includes some elements which really highlight the tomato and lettuce aspects of this dish. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did last night…
World’s Best BLT (adapted from MarieRnyr)
- 1 good quality fresh baguette, split lengthwise in half, but not separated, soft centers removed
- 5 tablespoons mayo
- 3 tablespoons basil pesto (homemade or store-bought)
- 10 slices bacon
- 2 large good quality tomatoes or 4 small good quality tomatoes
- 1 head red leaf lettuce, leaves separated, washed, and dried
HOUSE DRESSING use 3 to 4 Tablespoons
- 1⁄4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1⁄2 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1⁄2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Make your bacon by your preferred method. I like to do it this way:
Line a baking pan with aluminum foil, and place raw bacon down directly on the foil (not on a rack). Put pan in a cold oven and set for 400. Bake bacon for 20 minutes, or until reaches your desired level of crispiness. Remove pan from oven and transfer bacon to paper towels to remove extra oil.
- Next, make the house dressing, by combining all ingredients in a mason jar. Shake thoroughly.
- Under a broiler or on a griddle, lightly toast the inside of the baguette.
- Combine the mayonnaise and pesto.
- Spread the pesto mayonnaise all over the inside of both halves of the baguette.
- Lay the bacon along the length of the bottom half of the bread.
- Lay the tomato slices on top of the bacon and drizzle with the house dressing.
- Fill the remaining cavity with the lettuce leaves.
- Close the sandwich tightly.
- Cut on the diagonal with a sharp serrated knife into 2 to 4 pieces, depending on your hunger level. You may need a toothpick to hold the sandwich together.
- Pig out. (Quite fittingly.)
My husband re-proposed after taking a bite. Hope you have a similarly good experience!