Bookmark and Share September 9, 2011 - Dave Mulder

Friday dinner: Homemade BLT

Bacon. Lettuce. Tomato.

The BLT may be America’s most recognizable sandwich. After PB&J, of course.

But with its popularity comes a host of mediocre attempts. Not even bacon can save a sandwich with flavorless tomatoes and dry mass-produced bread. So when I make a BLT, I try to do it right.

Photograph of my homemade Bacon Lettuce Tomato sandwich

The sandwich consists of toasted Zingerman’s roadhouse bread, tomatoes, ¬†lettuce, bacon, and dijon mustard. Served with roasted blue potatoes, seasoned sweet corn, and McClure’s pickles. All produce was grown locally, though I’m not sure where McClure’s gets their pickling cucumbers from. Total cost is about $6.00 worth of ingredients per plate.

I admire Zingerman’s bread. It’s only available around Ann Arbor, Michigan, and the store I buy from in Lansing (East Lansing Food Co-op) is literally as far out as Zingerman’s vans will deliver to. Their baked goods arrive fresh every morning and quickly disappear. Unfortunately, I arrived a bit late and was stuck with a choice between paesano, roadhouse, and chili cheddar. Chili cheddar was ruled out because it doesn’t work as a following-day breakfast bread and paesano isn’t sturdy enough for sandwiches. Roadhouse isn’t the best sandwich bread but its soft and chewy attributes can work if you toast it right.

Preparing the bacon was tricky. You want it firm but not crispy. I’ve had some trouble with bacon in the past, letting it go too long, so this time I watched closely. That’s not easy when you’ve got potatoes roasting and other things waiting for action.

I probably could have stopped here, but seeing as how it’s the end of summer and there’s so much great harvest produce out there, I couldn’t resist adding some sweet corn as a side dish. It’s easy — you just husk, snap, wash, butter, season, foil, and toss in a 350-degree oven for 15-20 minutes. Just make sure you floss before bed.

Overall this was a great meal made even better with fresh, local, in-season ingredients.

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