We decided we had to make some BLTs. My mother makes them every July and August. It's the ultimate summer sandwich; so simple and delicious. And only really worth making if you have grown your own tomatoes or picked up some local ones at the farmer's market. I'm happy to discover that it's not just an Iowa tradition. The lady at the meat market informed Jeff she's been selling lots of bacon "because of all the tomatoes." I would hope anywhere tomatoes grow that bacon lettuce and tomato sandwiches are eaten.
BLTs are such a simple sandwich that you must have good ingredients. We buy our meat from a local place simply called "The Beef Market". They sell more than just beef. They sell organic, free range chickens, locally grown, butchered and processed meat. And they make their own brats. Those brats are amazing and a whole other post. They also have excellent bacon. So we got a half pound of bacon.
You might be wondering: aren't you a vegetarian? No, actually, I'm not. I do believe in eating responsibly and low on the processed food chain. We eat meat a couple times a month at most and not in great quantity. BLT's are a special treat, but not outside my food mantra (which you can read more about here if you like).
The lettuce, sorry to say came from a regular old grocery. The farmer's market just doesn't have local lettuce right now. It's too darn hot. That's okay, it was fresh and dark green and that's the basic requirements of lettuce.
The tomatoes are from the estate garden. I work at an arboretum and garden and the founders live right next door. I share an office with their estate horticulturist and she is nice enough to share the abundance of the kitchen garden with the staff. I will never want for tomatoes, cucumbers, herbs or green beans as long as I work there. The beefsteak and roma tomatoes are just coming on but the cherry tomatoes have been producing for quite awhile. So that's what we used on our BLTs.
To keep the house cool we made the bacon on the Forman grill. It also conveniently collects the bacon grease so I can use it in other dishes, like curry or pizza sauce. Jeff made the bread earlier in the day. Fresh bread is twice as delicious as store bought.
I love that BLTs are minimum work and time for such a mouth watering meal.
Classic BLTs - Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato Sandwiches
4 slices fresh bread
2 tomatoes sliced thick
4 large lettuce leaves
1/4 cup mayonnaise
4 strips bacon
Step 1: Fry up your bacon until it is the desired crispiness. Meanwhile toast your bread and slice the tomatoes.
Step 2: Stacking your BLT is crucial. If you do it right the sandwich won't fall apart as much when being eaten. Start by smearing both pieces of toast with mayo. Then place the tomato on one piece of toast and the bacon on the other. Then put the lettuce on top of the tomatoes and put your two halves together. The mayo will help hold the tomatoes and bacon in place so they don't slide out. The lettuce should be large enough pieces that friction will keep them in place while you chow down.
Step 3: Serve and enjoy your BLTs with other summer classics like peaches, corn on the cob, slices of cucumber or fresh berries. A bowl of ice-cream at the end wouldn't be remiss either.
Yields two sandwiches.
It's tomato time here on my blog. This month I'll be looking at different ways to preserve and eat tomatoes. Check out my first post where there are lots of inspiring comments for how to enjoy tomatoes. I am also adding links to the tomato posts as they are published so you will be able to find them together. Check it out here: Tomato Recipes and Ideas.
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