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Perfect BLT or Variations

I am being "forced" to eat BLTs this week, as I have several organic beefsteak tomatos that need to be used up. Tonight I had Nueskes Pepper Bacon on lightly toasted whole wheat, with thick slabs of the aforementioned tomato, a little mayo, and some thin slices of avocado. Yum!

What are some other favourite variations or add ins? Sometimes I like a drizze of good maple syrup, as I like maple baon, but have yet to find one that truly dazzles.

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  1. I like to add some finely chopped parsley and garlic to the mayo. Simple twist but it adds a nice kick.

    1. I haven't been to this recommended restaurant but their BLT has lobster in it - yummmy!!! Can't wait to try it. That's a nice twist.

      1. I dont think you can do better than you did. My Neuske's at lunch was not the peppered variety so I had to add some. It was just about perfect and i was sorely wishing i had a ripe avocado.

        1. Different types of mayo or aioli could do wonders...picking or making one that compliments the tomato or the bacon. I had a sandwich not too long ago with a cheyenne mayo...it definitely improved the sandwich, although I see it could be tricky too.

          1. Karl S recommended a while back to use peanut butter instead of mayo on a BLT which I've tried and couldn't believe how good it was. ....Thanks Karl S

            11 Replies
            1. re: Infomaniac

              I finally remembered to use peanut butter last night and it definitely is an excellent addition. It tastes so much richer, yet not as overwhelming as I expected; only downside is all the extra calories!

              1. re: coll

                But does peanut butter outweigh mayonnaise in calories by that much?

                  1. re: HillJ

                    What's a hundred calories amongst friends....

                    1. re: Infomaniac

                      but Info! we could have nearly two sandwiches for the calorie count of one :)

                      1. re: HillJ

                        LOL, thanks for the caloric info...but when we're talking about a sandwich with bacon as the star, I guess the health issue goes out the window by default!

              2. re: Infomaniac

                Wasn't PB&J w/ bacon Elvis's sandwich?

                1. re: ML8000

                  I think just PB and Bacon...my younger sister, way too young to know Elvis, had this as her fave sandwich.

                  1. re: Frosty Melon

                    It was peanut butter and bananas, no bacon. I'm old enough to remember.
                    But my family grew up on peanut butter and bacon sandwiches, or peanut butter and butter as an alternative. I don't know how kids survive nowadays without peanut butter!

                    1. re: coll

                      That reminds me of a funny story - I have two grand kids of the same age (2 seperate families) and gdaughter hates pnutbutter, gson loves it. When they were 4, he tries his hardest to convinces her how great it is. Every few minutes he's at the table would say "But why don't you like it, I don't understand" - it was sooo cute, he was so flabbergasted that she didn't like the stuff.

                2. re: Infomaniac

                  You are all welcome. I was travelling and out of Internet range the week this post occurred - I just noticed this. I am glad people see the wonder of the PB-BLT...PB is way better than mayo or (shudder) "salad dressing".

                3. I make a BLT panzanella that's really good. You cook up bacon (thick, all natural), cut into large bite sized pieces. Use the bacon fat to toast cubes of crusty bread. Toss w/ lettuce, tomatoes, avocado and a thinned chipotle mayo dressing. It's like a chopped up BLT, only easier to eat.

                  1. I love adding basil leaves to the lettuce. Avocado is fabulous and my favorite version is putting the BLT on a crunchy baguette with plenty of mayo. Being a bit of a mayo-holic, the idea of peanut butter in its place is gag-inducing. But then I thought, you never know; salty, nutty peanuts might just work ... I'll have to try it.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Fuser

                      Basil is the perfect addition. I chop it and mix it in the mayo, but leaves would be awesome as well!

                      1. re: taryn

                        Mint is surprising and lovely too.

                    2. California BLT with avocado slices tossed in lemon juice added.
                      Canadian BLT with peameal bacon.
                      I love the taste of tomatoes so I make a tomato basil aioli to use; yes, I know that is tomatoes twice.
                      Pancetta slices as the bacon on a crusty Italian bread; lemon aioli, arugula and tomatoes (our favourite).

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: itryalot

                        Mind sharing how you go about making tomato-basil aioli?

                        1. re: tritecliche

                          Last time I made this, guests were eating the aioli with a spoon.
                          The cheater, don't have time way: In a food processor, puree best quality mayo, juice from half a sm lemon, fresh basil leaves, whole cloves of fresh garlic and fresh tomatoes (I remove the skins and seeds). Process; drizzle in best quality EVOO and taste for salt and pepper; check consistency. Since then, I always have this as a condiment for burgers, sausages, panini, etc

                          To make traditional French/Italian aioli prepare it in a mortar and pestle (garlic, salt, very good olive oil, lemon juice and egg yolks.)The garlic isn't thrown in. It is at the base of the recipe. Then add in the other components (you may want to pestle the tomatoes first and reserve) tomatoes and basil.

                          1. re: itryalot

                            Thanks for posting this tomato aioli - sounds fantastic!

                            I love making basil mayo to eat on my BLTs - just process mayo with basil, lemon, clove garlic, and some pepper (I think that's it - haven't made it yet this summer). Of course you have to have perfect garden ripe tomatoes - yay! They're finally here.

                          2. re: tritecliche

                            Also, simply slice and then marinate tomatoes with basil, a little olive oil, and a pinch of salt for ten or so minutes before combining them with the B & L.

                        2. My favorite variation uses a heavy wheat bread, pimento cheese spread, bacon that is cooked up crisp and then diced, mixed greens and fried green tomatoes. Spread the pimento cheese (or any spreadable cheese, I suppose), top with the chopped bacon and press into the cheese so it holds together (but won't pull apart when you eat it!) Top with the FGTs and greens. Good times...

                          1. My favorite BLT for a perfect full-flavored heirloom tomato is:
                            white bread, toasted
                            good quality smoked bacon, thick
                            thick sliced tomatoes

                            I can barely make it from kitchen to table!
                            A variation I like is w/ arugula.

                            Or, skipping the bacon:
                            ciabatta stuffed w/ tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, argula or basil, olive oil, S&P.

                            1. I used to work at a bakery in Vermont that made a great BLT that had all the usual ingredients AND thick slices of ripe Brie in it. Over the top, but excellent.

                              1. Smoked salmon is a nice addition. I wouldn't have thought so, but I had it a few months ago at a popular restaurant here in Prov -- Red Stripe -- and it was great.

                                1 Reply
                                1. In my opinion the BLT is perfect in its original form. A mound of bacon, a couple of slices of juicy toamto, some crisp lettuce, and some mayo.

                                  However I sometimes add some turkey, a slice of swiss cheese, some jalapenos to mix things up at different times.

                                  1. We really like BLT's using pita bread. Chop the bacon, tomatoes and lettuce and mix it up in a bowl with mayo and salt and pepper. Cut the pita in half and lightly toast it and then fill with the BLT mix.

                                    1. love the avocado myself
                                      sub pesto for mayo
                                      sub bacon for grilled shrimp
                                      add roasted red peppers to a traditional BLT
                                      toasted rye is my fav BLT bread, but lettuce wraps are nice too
                                      a friend turned me onto using one fried egg (over easy) to a BLT and it was gooey good

                                      1. My grandmother's Dutch Sandwich substituted slices of raw sweet onion for lettuce and added slices of good sharp cheddar. A standout variation to a traditional BLT (must be on bread, not toast), with mayo of course.

                                        1. Try a apple wood smoked bacon with Mache or arugula (peppery green) sliced romas and muenster cheese on grilled Ciabatta bread. This should give an interesting pronounced flavored BLT.

                                          1. I just read about this on a blog and had to find it. It sounds mouth watering.


                                            1. My favorite is the Spanglish sandwich, which is a version of a BLT with cheese and a fried egg. It's drip down your chin good!
                                              Recipe here: http://piealamona.blogspot.com/2007/0...

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: monavano

                                                Here's a pic of an incredible BLT I had last month at a deli in Philadlephia. Heavy on the "B"!

                                              2. How about a very "Italian" style B"M"T?

                                                Instead of lettuce, put mozerralla (Sorry I can't help but think the perfect marriage of mozerralla and fresh tomato!)

                                                Instead of mayo, use pesto or even just drizzle good olive oil

                                                Keep the bacon (or use pancetta/lardo to keep with the Italian theme), and of course, the tomato

                                                Put everything onto ciabatta bread, and toast till crusty!

                                                1. We like the Niman Ranch applewood bacon at TJ's and a really good bread, like Zingermans farm loaf or a sourdough. Tuscan Pane from TJ's will do too. I'll also admit to liking Miracle Whip instead of mayo in this application!

                                                  1. I like to use Applewood Smoked Bacon, and make a pretty traditional BLT, with the exception of tossing the lettuce in Italian dressing, before adding it to the sandwich...My son thinks that this version rocks!

                                                    1. I like to toast my BLT - put the mayo and tomato on one slice of bread and top with a bit of salt and oregano. put the cooked bacon on the other slice of bread, and put in the toaster oven or under a broiler for a few seconds to get everything warm. pull it out, add the lettuce, and chow!

                                                      1. My favorite bacon is the thick applewood smoked bacon at Bristol Farms. It is out of this world. I serve BLTs on toasted Wolferman's English muffins with thick slices of tomato, mayo and I make guacamole and smear it over one side of the muffin. It falls apart in your hands and dribbles down your chin. Life doesn't get any better.

                                                        1. how about bacon with gruyere, arugula with olive oil, lemon juice, salt & pepper, sliced tomatoes, on warm ciabatta or . . .
                                                          Just had a beaufitul pan cooked salmon with bacon, avocado slices, chipotle mayo on country bread.

                                                          1. Prosciutto, arugula, tomato plus aioli. Also very good. Though the classic (avec avocado) in your opening post just about can't be beat. Nueske's rocks.

                                                            1. My fave is always toasted sourdough bread, slathered with mayo and thick sliced tomatoes on top, add salt & pepper and serve open faced, however, that is not a BLT!
                                                              I like to take thinly sliced Prosciutto and put it in the toaster oven (or regular oven) until crisp like bacon then make the sandwich. So good!! You have some great ideas here, although mine came a little late!! ;-)

                                                              1. Could anyone suggest a less expensive alternative to the Nueske's pepper bacon that everyone is lauding? My budget doesn't permit such extravagance ($21 for 2 lbs on their website, plus shipping), but I do adore the taste of bacon, and I'm a pepper-fiend. Any ideas for an unusual and yummy bacon that a working artist could swing?


                                                                3 Replies
                                                                1. re: foxy fairy

                                                                  I myself prefer Wellshire Farms dry-rubbed center-cut bacon. Available at Whole Foods, about $6.50/lb?. Btw, on weekend mornings, it's the cooked bacon available at the WF breakfast bar for about $8/lb (IIRC) already cooked (which is a *great* deal - really handy for getting ready-made supplies....)

                                                                  I find Nueske's bacon much too hickory-smoked to be palatable. Wellshire Farms is not that way.

                                                                  1. re: foxy fairy

                                                                    My favorites are Farmland or Tyson, both are better than most supermarket bacon, and I can get either for $3 per lb on sale all the time. I consider them unusual since they taste much better than Smithfield and all that lot that most people use. Then just put lots of black pepper on your tomatoes, why pay double the price to have them do it for you? This time of year I go through tons of bacon due to BLTs.

                                                                    1. re: foxy fairy

                                                                      Cooks' Illustrated rated supermarket brand and premium bacons here:

                                                                      Corroborating Coll, they found Farmland to be the meatiest of the supermarket bacons,
                                                                      and found Nueske's premium bacon to be overly smoked. Nueske's isn't for everyone.
                                                                      By the way, my everyday favorite is the Niman Ranch Dry-Cured Center Cut Bacon
                                                                      that I buy at Trader Joe's for $4.99 for 12 ounces.

                                                                      As a source for peppered bacon, I often find that grocers with a butcher offer good quality bacon, sometimes a peppered one. Try that first and see what you think.

                                                                      Does anyone else think that the smell of bacon frying is better than any perfume or cologne?

                                                                    2. I know that you mentioned you had it already but for everyone else who will read this ... The perfect B.L.T. Is with slices of AVACADO and a little lemon juice with sprinkled salt. SOOOO GOOD I CAN"T EAT A B.L.T. WITHOUT THE TOPPINGS!!
                                                                      What also makes a B.L.T. perfection is picking a good green LETTUCE!!!! Using Iceburg lettuce can really drown the taste of your sandwich. Green Leaf lettuce or any other prefered taste of lettuce will work with the flavor of the bacon and tomato and fo course... the AVACADO! Add a peice of cheese too!

                                                                      1. I usually make mine with the requisite bacon (or turkey bacon if I'm watching my calorie intake), spinach, roma tomatoes, mayo and a bit of goat cheese. It adds a nice creamy tang to it.

                                                                        1. After reading this thread in the fall, I tried the Whole Foods black forest bacon. Excellent, delicious.

                                                                          1. BLTs may be the most perfect food ever. I like mine w/ toasted whole grain bread; Niman Ranch bacon; lettuces and tomatoes from the Chino Farm near San Diego; and the best goat cheese at my local cheesemonger. I like to gently toss the lettuce in a light vinegarette and perhaps add some fresh basil if I have some. If I'm feeling sassy, I'll make fried green tomato BLTs. And always tons, just tons of bacon.