To be honest, BLT’s (Bacon, Lettuce & Tomato sandwiches) weren’t a personal favorite growing up. We rarely had access to spectacular tomatoes and nice thick slices of salty bacon didn’t last long enough to be sandwiched between bread. But after living in the U.S. for several years, I learned to appreciate the simple yet spectacular pairing of flavors, texture, color and ultimately taste of a well-made BLT.
BLT purists might balk at anything other than white bread, hellman’s mayonnaise, several slices of crisp bacon, several slices of ripe beefsteak tomatoes and iceberg lettuce, but there are many ways to enjoy these ingredients together in some form or another… For a recent version a la Marketman, I took two slices of sourdough bread, with a bit of tang and complete with crust (I don’t remove my crusts for sandwiches like others sometimes do), added generous amounts of European mayonnaise out of a tube, with some mustard mixed in, several large and extremely fresh basil leaves (I could have made a pesto but was lazy), and several leaves of crisp romaine lettuce…
…added some superb slices of vine-ripened tomatoes from Toscana Farms, and several thick slices of canadian bacon fried to a CCRISP, but unfortunately complete with their rind which was a mistake. If you have a tough rind, remove it before you fry the bacon so it’s easier to bite into your sandwich and the bacon shatters with your bite, rather than hangs on and slips out for a ride, messing up the proportions of ingredients in each and every bite. Put the sandwich together and slice it in half if you like, to make it easier to handle. Sandwich heaven. Have to do this at least twice a year. :)
A couple of days later, I used up some extra steamed shrimp by making a really simple shrimp salad sandwich. Just mix some good mayonnaise with lots of chopped dill, a bit of lemon juice, salt and pepper and add the shrimp and mix this all up. Use any whole wheat, white or sourdough bread. I served this for a light lunch together with a bowl of chilled gazpacho, made from some of those spectacular Toscana tomatoes…
On another day, I decided on a more substantial meaty, hearty, flavorful sandwich for lunch. Pan fried some spicy italian sausage, add sliced bell peppers, tomato puree, spices and salt and pepper and let this cook until thick and perfect for a section of a toasted baguette.
I used to buy versions of this sandwich from sidewalk carts when I worked in New York, and I haven’t had a sausage sandwich in years! The spicy juicy and meaty sausage combined with the sweet bell peppers and the always welcome slathering of tomato brought back good memories. All of these sandwiches took very little time to make, and were the perfect choice for light (or not so light) lunches at home. :)