Thursday, August 28th, 2014

M-A-I-N-E: The BLT Bar

IMG_4011I’m not lying when I say that, when it’s tomato season (so basically right now), I could happily eat BLT sandwiches everyday, perhaps for every meal. Is there a more perfect arrangement than crisp bacon, juicy tomato, leafy lettuce, and mayonnaise for putting between two slices of bread? Emphatically, no. Lately, I’ve noticed recipes that try to play or improve upon the classic combination, things like a “deconstructed BLT” or fried-green tomato BLT, and I think, “why? why!?”. Why in the world would anyone feel the need to mess around with the ideal thing. It’s nonsense! The most innovative I’ll ever get with my BLT is perhaps switching up the bread, or dusting the tomatoes with some flaky salt. That’s it. Although I do recognize that most people prefer to assemble their versions differently: The order in which they stack the lettuce/bacon/mayo, if the want the bread toasted, etc. To address this issue when we’re in Maine, I make a BLT bar, with all the ingredients arranged separately, so that everyone can assemble to their taste.

IMG_3111I find that a BLT lunch buffet is the ideal way to feed large gatherings, say when your family raids your summer getaway, because you don’t have to prepare a horde of sandwiches yourself, but it’s a little nicer than throwing a plate of cold cuts together. I also love doing this for a picnic—just pack all the ingredients separately and then arrange them on your picnic blanket so that people can help themselves (this also prevents soggy sandwich syndrome).

IMG_3120This BLT was slightly radical for me because I made it on a baguette rather than my usual toasted white bread. There was a lot more bite and crunch to it, but it was still the sandwich of my dreams because all of the ingredients were at their best-ripest-tastiest. Even though I’m no longer in Maine, I’m going to continue to have my share before summer is out, you should too.

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