We know that bacon makes everything better. Eggs? Add bacon. Cheeseburger? Add bacon. Mac & Cheese? Add bacon. Salads? Add bacon.
But for the BLT, the star is BACON. It’s bacon that gives the sandwich its crunch and savory smokey punch.
I love bacon. I’m a bacon aficionado. And I take my BLT-building seriously.
Start with the bread
Traditional BLTs are built on a foundation of white bread. In a pinch, it will work. A better choice is a heartier variety like whole wheat, rye, or pumpernickel.
But the best? Sourdough.
Yes, you read that right. Sourdough.
The bread is dense — and it makes the sandwich feel like it means business; like it can play in the same league as bacon.
Toast the bread
Toasting is optional. Some breads pop when toasted. Plain white bread? Toast it.
Wheat, rye, or pumpernickel: Sure.
The beauty of choosing a sourdough bread is that you don't have to toast it. The bread stands on its own. But if you prefer it toasted, it can be done without ruining your lunch.
Add crisp lettuce
Traditionally, BLTs are made with the workhorse of lettuce: iceberg. It’s dependable, inexpensive, easy to find in the stores, and versatile.
But a BLT features bacon, and this requires a more flavorful green. Try peppery arugula, tangy baby spinach, or zesty micro-greens. Butter lettuce also adds a nice texture and flavor.
Add juicy tomato slices
If you have the space, start a garden, because there’s is nothing better on a summer day than a tomato freshly-picked from the vine.
Heirloom tomatoes — especially if they are fresh and locally-grown — are my top choice for the perfect BLT.
If heirloom tomatoes aren’t available, try sun-dried or fire-roasted.
This is my favorite part. Add the bacon, fried, cooled, and crisp.
The thicker the cut, the better. Wood-smoked maple, or honey, it doesn’t matter. It’s BACON. You want a good, crisp bite.
Or, go international and prepare thin, delicate slices of Italian pancetta or Canadian bacon. Even if you don’t consume pork, you are not out of the game. Many upscale butcher shops feature hearty bacon-cured beef or lamb slices.
Want a bigger, meat-forward sandwich? Top your bacon with ham or turkey.
If you’re up for a challenge, try my Fried Chicken BLT.
Add a dab of mayonnaise
Adding mayo kicks your BLT up a notch. I recommend a simple homemade version. It is far superior to store-bought varieties. I also like to give my mayo a boost with various herbs and spices, like garlic or Sriracha paste.
Don’t limit yourself to mayo. Experiment with salad dressings and globally-inspired condiments to create new BLT dressing favorites.
Check out my recipe section for more fresh ideas, like my sweet & savory Balsamic Cherry Tomato Caramelized Jam!
Over the top
You are only limited by your preferences and imagination when it comes to BLT toppings.
Add your favorite cheese — cheddar, mozzarella, baby Swiss. A homemade Pimento Cheese spread is an exceptional choice.
Create a double-decker BLT and incorporate different cheeses and toppings.
Enjoy your BLT!