The perfect BLT sandwich occurs annually in a narrow time span. It appears in the summer only when juicy, red tomatoes ripen in the garden and ends when the first frost comes or a bit later, depending on how many ripening tomatoes are on hand.
Given ripe, homegrown tomatoes, one must turn attention to the other ingredients, each important, for the BLT is a meld of tastes and textures made in heaven, if made well.
The bacon should be free of nitrates and nitrites and thinly sliced. It should be chosen for its generous streaks of lean and be slowly fried over medium low heat. It must be turned frequently during this process, and when it is uniformly crispy, drained on a paper towel.
The perfect BLT is built on thinly sliced bread that has structural integrity, meaning that it does not smush or crumble or break. The best bread for this purpose is Slow Rise Bread (see post of July 4, 2011 for the recipe). A good, thinly sliced sourdough also has integrity and will suffice. (see post of August 12, 2013)
The lightly toasted bread is slathered with Miracle Whip. Personally, I will accept no substitute, but some unenlightened souls use mayonnaise.
The lettuce must be that demeaned and under-appreciated variety, iceberg. What gives iceberg the advantage in this instance is its tight layers of leaves and its slight crunch. Limp lettuce has no place in the perfect BLT.
Here is it, ready for final assembly, and here’s to BLT season!
Copyright 2013 by Shirley Domer