A bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich is one of those dishes that instantly triggers nostalgia for me. A good BLT is one of my mom’s favorite foods, which means so often growing up she would throw together a BLT for our supper.
Her recipe did not require special ingredients or fancy techniques, just a bit more care. She would quickly pan fry some bacon, which she usually had on hand in the fridge, slice some tomatoes from the garden, and slather toasted white bread with mayo. After watching her prepare countless sandwiches I realized what made her homemade version my favorite version. Aside from the addition of love, my mom seasoned every layer of her sandwich with salt and pepper.
First the mayo is lacquered on the bread then hit with a sprinkling of seasoning, the next layer is added and seasoned, and so on. As you can imagine, building a sandwich with tomato that has a sprinkling of salt and pepper far exceeds a sandwich with plain tomato.
And although I feel that you can never go wrong with classic BLT, I wanted to push the limits on what a BLT can be. With that in mind, I did not want to change the backbones of the sandwich by adding or using a bunch of random things. In the south people love to throw a fried green tomato onto a BLT in an attempt to heighten the recipe–I was not about to do that.
My approach is to amplify the already existing ingredients of a BLT. Add some garlic to the mayo, use better tomatoes, etcetera.
I use this Balsamic Onion Jam recipe to make the jam I use on the sandwich.
A few notes:
- Garlic confit can make you very sick if you do not cook it and store it properly. I recommend using it immediately and if you want to save it, freeze it.
- I purchased a loaf of homemade bread from a local baker. I recommend opting for a better bread than normal sliced bread from the grocery store.
- The true secret to making any BLT so much better is to salt and pepper every layer, even your smear of mayo.
- Finally, bake your bacon. This is a trick I learned during my short time as a line cook. Most restaurants place bacon in a single layer on a sheet pan and bake it instead of pan frying it. It keeps the kitchen cleaner (bacon grease does not spatter everywhere) and you are able to tend to other things in the kitchen while the bacon bakes.