Cook will tell you that the secret to making delicious food is to use the best and freshest ingredients you can get. A BLT is no exception to this general rule. Our family converts a typical bacon lettuce and tomato sandwich to the "Ultimate BLT" by kicking the ingredients up a notch. Now you can too...
- Tomatoes - Let's be candid, most tomatoes from the supermarket are
hard and tasteless; they don't add much to a BLT. But if you use a
homegrown tomato, you have an entirely different experience because the sweet
of the tomato compliments and balances the salty-fatty taste of the
bacon. If you are like us, you now have an abundance of amazing tomatoes from your garden. Use these and your BLT just improved ten fold. If you don't have homegrown get them at the farmers market or local farm stand. Our favorite tomatoes varieties are Paul Robeson, Japanese Trifele and Brandywine but get what you like.
Paul Robeson Tomato
- Lettuce - you can use any variety in your garden, but we tend to like greens that are a bit spicy. The adults in the family generally use arugula in place of lettuce, but for the kids we use a wonderful sweet variety called Jericho. I suppose a Bacon, Arugula and Tomato sandwich should probably be called a "BAT" not a BLT but it works for us.
- Bacon - Bacon is God's gift to us. We actually cure and smoke our own bacon using the recipe on the PlanterTomato blog. The bacon is smoked with hickory, alder or cherry wood. All are great. Granted, curing your own bacon is a bit over the top. If you don't have time or patience for this, just go to the store and get the best bacon you can buy. When you cook your bacon, do so over medium heat so you don't overcook it. (Burnt bacon tastes wretched and you and your sandwich deserve better.)
- The Staff of Life - You can use white bread to make BLT's, but a tastier approach is to use a fresh baked bread like a ciabatta, batard or boule. Don't worry if you don't recognize these names; they are just different styles of bread with crusty tops similar to French bread. We buy our bread at our from the store because we've found that commercial bakers do a better job than what we can at baking these loaves. High quality, fresh bread is becoming more widely available these days and many of the better supermarkets now bake it on the premises or source it from a local artisanal baker. If you have the option, use a nice crusty top bread to make your BLT's.
- Mayo - Slather it on. Yes we know it high in fat. For Pete's sake, live a little.