It’s July and the news is all about tomatoes. Nothing says SUMMER more than the “fruit disguised as vegetable.” There is no better harbinger of the summer garden than the perfectly ripe tomato, just picked and dressed with a sprinkle of sea salt and fruity olive oil.
The anticipation of the perfect BLT has been clouded by headlines cautioning US consumers to be wary of tomatoes, especially the commodity red round and roma varieties. Marriott responded quickly with confidence in our redundant safe-sourcing protocols, and are ensuring our supply line of tomatoes are only from those growing areas free of any concern.
In fact, the red round and roma varieties don’t make the best BLT’s. Making the classic summer sandwich starts with a perfectly ripe heirloom, Jersey beefsteak or Early Girl tomato thickly sliced and topped with generous slices of crisp, just off the griddle smoky cured bacon. For my money, nothing is better than Nueske’s applewood smoked for the perfect BLT. Pile that onto thick sliced toasted sourdough, slathered with a lemony mayonnaise and crunchy lettuce, finish with a liberal grind of black pepper. Simple, perfect, and tastes like summer.
The perfect BLT, for two
4 slices sourdough bread
1 Jersey beefsteak sliced into ¼” slices
1 pinch sea salt (Maldon or other variety)
Black pepper from a grinder
6 slices Nueske’s Applewood Bacon
6 inside leaves butter lettuce, washed and dried
2 Tablespoons mayonnaise
1 Teaspoon lemon juice
Cook the bacon over medium heat in a thick bottomed pan or on a griddle. While the bacon is cooking, slice the tomato and sprinkle with the sea salt and a few grinds of black pepper.
Mix the lemon juice into the mayonnaise while the bread is toasting.
Brush the toasted bread with the lemony mayonnaise, top with the lettuce, then tomatoes, and 3 slices of bacon right out of the pan. No better way to celebrate summer!
What’s on YOUR plate today?
What's on my plate today? Well, now it's a BLT! Man, I love a good BLT, especially with nice firm tomatoes, well cooked bacon (otherwise it won't break on a bite and you'll drag a whole piece out of the sandwich with you) and, as you say, a LIBERAL grind of pepper.
Frankly, I have never been a fan of the L in a BLT. The less lettuce in my BLT the better. When I make them at home, I tend just to make an BT sandwich, leaving the lettuce for my next green salad.
A BLT is an excellent suggestion for a light lunch on the back deck. I'll take mine with an unpretentious cold Rose from the Cote de Provence!
The Philadelphia Inquirer reviewed the Ritz Carlton Philadelphia's BLT @ 10 Arts, the new restaurant operated under the Eric Ripert brand. Read about in Rick Nichols column @ www.phillynews.com