Say hello to what I want to be eating every day for the rest of my life.
BLTs with a couple twists! Avocado! Lemon mayo! And garlic-crusted bacon!
Sure, we’re still way outside the bounds of good tomato season, but these days, you really CAN find decent tomatoes year round. Just at Whole Foods the other day, I passed by a huge display of heirloom cherry tomatoes. They were gorgeous. They cost an arm and a leg, too. I kept on walking, despite my summer food cravings.
Even though it’s only early March, I am totally going to justify this BLT situation to you right now. Lackluster tomatoes and all. You see, I am a huge BLT fan. HUGE. Eating them for only a month or two out of the entire year is not enough for me. I get it from my mom.
Growing up, my parents had a flourishing at-home garden where tomatoes were the star of the show in the summer. BLTs made a regular appearance on the menu, much to our delight. Not only were they delicious, but my mom relished in the fact that she could throw dinner together with minimal time and ingredients. As a mom myself these days, I will never underestimate that small victory ever again. Hence why I could easily enjoy these for dinner (or lunch!) every day for the rest of my life. I honestly don’t think I could ever get sick of these sandwiches. They’re delicious AND nostalgic for me, and that’s the best of all worlds when it comes to food.
The BLTs of my childhood were one of the only exceptions to my “I don’t like mayo” rule. At least it was a rule back then. Mayo, especially homemade, has become something I’m increasingly getting down with in my adult life. And I cannot eat a BLT without a thick slather of the stuff. No exceptions. There must be mayo involved if “B” “L” and “T” are coming out of your mouth in the same part of a sentence. No mustard. No pesto. MAYO. This was true even as a kid, when mayo did not come near my plate of food in any other circumstance.
Because I am a lemon freakazoid, I put some fresh lemon in the mayo for these sandwiches. It is totally optional but heavenly. It gives everything some life. Some pizzazz! Some freshness. The bright lemony flavor works really well with the buttery avocado and intense salty savoriness of the bacon. Plus, it sort of transports my mind to warmer weather. Lemon = summer.
I highly recommend it.
Another thing you should probably do? Cook your bacon coated in garlic. Ohhhhh yesssss. If you are a garlic fan, then this bacon is for you. It’s really easy to do, too! You take slices of bacon, lie them out on a baking sheet in an even layer, and then evenly sprinkle them with minced garlic. Bake until crispy! That’s it. Garlic bacon! Wham, bam, thank you, Mam.
Crunchy, a little bit sweet, salty, savory, and garlicky. It’s addicting. One or three slices may have found their way into my mouth before these sandwiches were even a thing. Yup. SO GOOD.
To tie things all together and to add a little heft to these BLTs, I added in some slices of buttery avocado. Not exactly a novice idea (the BLAT is an official sandwich on many menus these days), but a good one nonetheless. Avocado and bacon have a total affinity for each other (something about that incredibly creamy texture mixed with that crunchy, salty addictiveness). And I have an affinity for both of them.
Much to my waistline’s chagrin.
Which is why I ALSO load my sandwiches up with copious amounts of crisp butter lettuce and fresh tomato slices and pile everything high on multigrain bread. Despite it’s healthier take on carbs, multigrain happens to be one of my favorite breads to use for flavor and texture reasons. It makes me feel good while making my taste buds feel good too.
Gotta love when that happens.
So, have I convinced you yet that BLTs can happen in March? You are seriously missing out if not. For all that is good in this world, go make yourself a BLT! With garlic bacon! And avocado! And lemon mayo!
Who cares what month it is when we have garlic bacon.
12 sliced bacon
3 garlic cloves, grated, pressed, or finely minced
1 teaspoon sugar
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup mayo
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
Tiny drizzle of honey (optional)
Salt and pepper, to taste
8 slices of multigrain bread, toasted
2 vine tomatoes, sliced
8 butter lettuce leaves
2 avocados, sliced
Preheat the oven to 375°F and line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Arrange the bacon in an even layer so that none of the pieces are overlapping.
Sprinkle the garlic evenly over the bacon followed by the sugar. Season the bacon liberally with the black pepper.
Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the bacon is crispy and the fat has rendered. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. It will continue to crisp as it cools.
While the bacon is cooking/cooling, make your lemon mayo and prep your veggies.
Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
Toast your bread and then slather the pieces generously with the lemon mayo. Layer the bacon, tomatoes, lettuce, and avocado on half of the bread slices and top off with the remaining bread slices. Slice as desired and serve!