The last couple weeks have been absolutely crazy for me. And sometimes, when life gets hectic and busy as hell, you just want to fall back on your comforts. For me, that means comfort food, and it is hard to think of a dish more satisfyingly simple than the BLT. It has everything – crispy bacon, juicy tomatoes, creamy mayo – and is one of the rare foods where even the cheapest, easiest version will always hit the spot. But there are a couple things that can take it from good to great, and from great to life-changing.
The first is the tomatoes; They’re obviously the best this time of year, and get better the less time they have to spend in transit between the farm and your sandwich. Since we are now happy homeowners here in Madison, we were actually able to grow our own tomatoes, which I cannot recommend highly enough. These fresh-off-the-vine beauties have such a rich color and a complexity that blows your grocery store Romas out of the water.
The next is the mayo; Homemade mayonnaise has so much more flavor than the store bought stuff and, if you have a stick blender, can be made in just one minute. The stick blender creates a vortex that emulsifies the oil and egg better than a whisk ever could, and in a fraction of the time. Plus, you can add herbs, spices, or other ingredients to get really interesting and nuanced flavors.
Lastly is the bacon; For the best bacon for sandwiches, you’ll want to skip the stove altogether and cook it up in the oven. It may sound crazy if you’ve never tried it, but this is the best way to make sure your bacon cooks evenly and renders to exactly the level of crispiness you want. Plus, you get to keep all that beautiful bacon fat for future hashbrowns or roast vegetables!
Ingredients (for two sandwiches)
8-10 strips Bacon
Juice of 1/2 Lemon
1 tsp Dijon Mustard
1 clove Garlic, minced
1 cup Vegetable Oil
4 slices Bread (I like French Boule)
Butter (For toasting the bread)
1 large Heritage Tomato, sliced thick
1 cup Lettuce (I usually go for shredded iceberg, but all we had was baby romaine. Still turned out great)
Kosher Salt and Fresh Pepper
- Preheat oven to 400F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and lay bacon on sheet, making sure no strips are overlapping.
- Cook bacon in oven for 15-25 minutes, depending on desired level of doneness. Remove and drain on paper towels.
- To make the mayo: Combine egg, lemon, mustard, and garlic in container just big enough to fit the head of your stick blender (I use a Pyrex measuring cup). Place head of stick blender in cup and pulse once to combine.
- With the blender still in container (but not turned on), drizzle in one cup of oil so it is resting on top of other ingredients. Turn on stick blender on high speed, and move slowly up and down until to mayo is thick and completely emulsified.
- Sprinkle salt and pepper over tomato slices.
- Spread bread liberally with butter. Toast bread in pan over medium heat until golden on both sides.
- Construct sandwich as follows: Bread, healthy spoonful of mayo, lettuce, tomato, bacon, mayo, bread.