Grilled BLTs

Saturday, July 26, 2014


I made bibimbap for my cousin, Tippy, today and it fully, totally, perfectly sucked. The rice was undercooked to a waterlogged chew. The kale was sauteed to a soggy limp, and even the kimchi to end all kimchi was off. If the rice is right, bibimbap is hard to get wrong, and since it was Tippy’s first time trying bibimbap, I wanted it to be fucking great. When it wasn’t, I was depressed. Still, she ate it with the kind of appreciation reserved for breakfast in bed, for coffee first thing in the morning from anyone. For her, it was the gesture of someone else cooking that made it special, and when she told me this exactly, I thought of sandwiches. Nothing but a sandwich is as delicious when made by someone else, but in case there are any skeptics out there, I’d be willing to put this to the test. We’ll need four slices of bread, some bacon, a tomato, and you. You’ll make a sandwich, I’ll make a sandwich, then we’ll swap and prove this theory like reasonable adults. What say you?

(say yes)

Tippy’s daughter Laurel and I picked blueberries yesterday, and we spent the rest of today baking two very different pies. They turned out much better than the bibimbap, thank Christ. One or both of those recipes is coming up next, I promise, but until then, go and make yourself (or someone else) a sandwich. Make it a BLT, the quintessential food of summer while tomatoes and basil are peak fresh. You don’t need a recipe for a good BLT, but if you’re looking to put a spin on things, try grilling it. Right up there with a sandwich from another, I bet you’ll find it tastes better than ever.

Grilled BLTs (makes 4)

8 slices pumpernickel or whole wheat bread
9-12 slices bacon
8 slices of mixed heirloom tomatoes (or the tastiest tomatoes you can find)
Green lettuce
1/4 cup creme fraiche or mayonnaise
Handful of basil leaves, torn into small pieces
1 Lemon (1 tablespoon zest + 1 tablespoon juice)
1/4 cup or more olive oil
1 clove garlic, peeled
Salt and pepper to taste

While your grill is preheating, make a BLT sauce. This is essential, like a good sauce for any good sandwich. Season your creme fraiche or mayo by adding it to a bowl with the lemon parts, torn basil, and salt and pepper. Set aside.

Place slices of bacon on the grill, but away from any direct flames. Cook until crispy.

Brush thick slices of tomato with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill until both sides have broken down and shriveled slightly.

Grill slices of bread on both sides, and while they’re still warm, rub garlic over one side of each slice. Then slather same side of each slice with BLT sauce. Layer the tomato, bacon, and lettuce, and top with another slice of grilled bread.

“I believe in love like a flower bud might believe in Buddha. But, then, I’m a romantic, and you know that because in the last presidential election I voted for Grilled Cheese Sandwich.
” – Jarod Kintz