Bacon, Lettuce & Tomato

Today brought us our first slicing tomatoes of the season – an exciting event in the CSA summer calendar. All the debutantes come out in their finest frippery and go to the cotillion…

No… wait… that’s not right (and it was either this or a Michael Jackson PYT/BLT joke that was in there somewhere… consider yourselves lucky). At any rate, summer tomatoes are a heavenly departure from the softballs that decorate the off-season supermarket shelves. Yes, the season is different south of the border, but they can’t ship ripe since they’d bruise and rot in transit. Generally they are exposed to ethylene to speed reddening and then shipped before they are actually ripe, which leads to bland, uninteresting tomatoes. A shame, but considering how much of a staple they can be in the American salad and sandwich repertoire, you do what you can. But the summer brings wonderful things and it becomes a whole, new ballgame.

So when our CSA released the first of the season, I had to think of a way to celebrate our bounty. Sure, a caprese salad, with fresh mozzarella and basil is a fantastic thing, but for those of you who know my wife and her addiction to cured pork, you know there was only one way to go.

Bacon, Lettuce & Tomato Sandwich
(per sandwich) 

2 slices BREAD (whole wheat or white only please)

1 fresh, in-season TOMATO, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds

2 rashers thick-sliced BACON

1-2 LETTUCE LEAVES

1 tsp MAYONNAISE

KOSHER SALT

freshly ground PEPPER

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Arrange BACON on a cooling rack, placed inside a foil-lined half-sheet pan. Place in the oven and cook until the BACON is fully cooked, 15-25 minutes depending on your preference – I like mine on the well-done side. While your bacon cooks. Spread MAYONNAISE on each slice of bread and follow that with a sprinkle a pinch of KOSHER SALT and several (4-6) cranks of PEPPER. Place one slice of TOMATO on one side of the sandwich and sprinkle lightly with a little more SALT. (I know this seems like a lot of salt, but seriously, there’s mayo and bacon on it too – you going to worry about salt intake here?) On the other side of the sandwich, add LETTUCE. When the BACON is finished, let cool a little, then dry on paper towels and cut into thirds. Place BACON on the sandwich, close the sandwich and mash down lightly. If you don’t, you’ll have a hard time holding it together.

Cut on a diagonal and enjoy with your favorite side and beverage. We had herb roasted potatoes and beer. A lovely summer dinner.

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