Friday, August 6, 2010

BLTs (with or without Salmon)

Okay, so I'll admit I needed to change things up around here. I have fallen into a zucchini rut. I have so much of it growing that I have felt the need to eat it everyday. Since I have found some great recipes that made good use of them, I have been eating the same things pretty much each week, hence not having anything new and exciting to write about.

Luckily that changed this week (both for you and me!) I had a lovely package of Vermont Smoke and Cure bacon sitting in the fridge and my first heirloom tomato ready in the garden. Add in some center cut salmon filets (love that Whole Foods has precut 5oz portioned pieces), garden lettuce, avocado, and a slather of mayo and you have a fantastic SBLT.

Bacon makes everything better in my opinion (I know you vegetarians don't agree... though I know some who would concur.) I love a good BLT... thick artisanal white bread, juicy backyard tomato, silky bibb lettuce, and crisp thick oven baked bacon. Are you drooling yet, because I am. The additional of salmon turns this summer lunch staple into a hearty dinner and gives you a good dose of Omega 3s (to counteract the artery clogging bacon). Adding avocado might be overkill, but these days I am putting it on every sandwich I make, and I love salmon and avocado together.

Because this is such a simple sandwich I must stress the importance of using really good ingredients. They will make all the difference in the flavor and texture. Get good bread, best if you get an uncut loaf and can hand slice your pieces nice and thick. Go to the farmer's market and get a really great tomato. Make sure you are using quality, thick bacon. All of these things will elevate this simple sandwich to star status and make it something you daydream about (okay maybe you won't, but I do!)

SBLT (or BLT if you omit the S)
makes 1 sandwich

2 slices good artisanal bread ( I used Pain Au Levain from Whole Foods)
2 or 3 slices tomato
2 slices thick cut bacon ( I love VERMONT smoke and cure)
4 lettuce leaves (bibb or whatever you have in your garden or in your fridge)
Mayo (as much or as little as you like!)
5oz center cut salmon filet (optional)
Avocado (optional)
Salt and Pepper
Olive Oil

For Bacon:

Preheat oven to 425 - I like to cook my bacon in the oven on a cooling rack set over a baking sheet for 12-15. This makes the bacon really crisp and maybe a little healthier. I save the bacon fat in a jar for cooking!

Drizzle bread on both sides with a little olive oil and grill (or you can throw them in the toaster if that's easier and you aren't making the salmon) until lightly browned or to your liking.

Assemble sandwich: Spread mayo on both pieces of bread. If you are using avocado, I like to mash is up and use it as a spread in lieu of or in addition to the mayo. Layer lettuce, then tomato slices, and finally the lovely bacon.

If you are using the salmon:

Heat grill to med/high (about 425 on a regular oven). Rub salmon with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on a piece on aluminum foil (for grill) or a baking sheet for oven. Cook on grill, with lid closed, or in oven for 10 minutes. Salmon should be moist.

Add salmon between the tomato and bacon (my preference). Be warned that this is a very messy sandwich. Salmon will be falling out the sides, tomato juices will be dripping down your hand. Don't hold back.... you'll be licking your fingers when this sandwich is gone!

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