Neat, this made Foodie Views of the day! They gave me a pretty button to go with it:
Have I ever mentioned that the last thing I gave up when going vegetarian was bacon? Beef: I never liked it anyway. Nearly the same with chicken. Fish: next to last. I like me some canned tuna.
I’m not going to wax poetic about bacon, though. That’s so 2008. Are you as tired as I am of candied bacon, bacon smoothies, bacon popcorn, and bacon ice cream? I’m sure they’re wonderful, but all of the swooning over bacon is becoming a tad unseemly. Let’s be seemly, shall we?
Suffice to say bacon tastes good and its namesake sandwich, the BLT, is too. The salty bacon, the pretty ruffles of leaf lettuce, the earthy, full flavor of heirloom tomato slices — slap them between a few slices of toast slathered with a condment of your choice, usually mayonnaise, and you have one mother of a sandwich.
Everyone knows how to make a BLT.
But have you ever had one with basil-garlic mayonnaise?
It elevates the humble BLT to a thing of beauty. The fresh basil complements the tomato, the garlic enhances the bacon, and a few drops of hot pepper sauce add little heat but a lot of flavor.
Now, the nice people at Nature’s Pride sent me a couple loaves of bread: 12-grain and 100% whole wheat. Since they sent me free stuff, I’m likely to say nice things about it, so be forewarned. They make their bread with all natural ingredients and no HFCS, which is a big plus for me. When my cousin and I were making the sandwiches, he asked what kind of bread I had, and stipulated, “No whole wheat.” I gacked, because I don’t keep anything but whole wheat around. He had to get whole grains anyway, in the form of the 12-grain loaf.
He survived, and said the 12-grain was really good. Whether he was being polite or not I’m not sure. Either way, I don’t care. My sandwich got validation.
Mine was on whole wheat. It was quite tasty as well. We used Black Krim heirloom tomatoes from my garden, and some really lovely curly generic leaf lettuce from the store. It was quite tasty as well. I have to say that overall, I prefer the bread I make myself, but if I had to buy some, I would choose this Nature’s Pride stuff. Again, remember, I’m predisposed to being nice about the bread though.
1 cup fresh basil, coarsely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
dash or two of tabasco or other hot pepper sauce
3/4 cup mayonnaise
In a food processor, whirl the basil leaves and garlic until the basil is finely chopped. Add salt, hot pepper sauce, and mayonnaise. Pulse until mixed together. Chill 30 minutes to allow flavors to meld.
basil-garlic mayonnaise BLT
Black Krim is a Russian heirloom variety tomato. It’s considered a beefsteak, but the tomatoes are smallish, about 2-1/2 to 3 inches in diameter. They have a rich flavor, not quite as “smoky” as some of the other black varieties, but more robust-tasting than most reds. I love growing them; like Stupice, they’re the perfect size for a sandwich, and they grow perfectly round and nearly blemish-free. They grow well in cooler climates like we have here in Michigan — it’s one of the few varieties I got a good number of tomatoes off of this cold summer.
4 slices whole grain bread, toasted
4 slices of cooked bacon
2 Black Krim tomatoes
2 large leaves curly leaf lettuce
basil-garlic mayonnaise (recipe above)
Slice the Black Krims. You should get 4 slices from each tomato, about 3/8″ thick. Slather basil-garlic mayonnaise on the toast. Build the BLT in layers: first, break the bacon into halves, laying out 4 halves on the bread. Then add the tomato slices, and the leaf lettuce on top of that. This ought to provide some decent protection for the bread from the tomato’s juices.
Top with the other slice of bread, cut sandwich in half, and serve.