Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The humble BLT.

I love BLTs. My Dad made them for us all summer long when we were kids and my brother and I would try to outdo one another with towering, Dagwood-size sandwiches. It's all been said before, but the salty bacon, sweet tomato, cool lettuce, creamy mayonnaise, and crunchy toast are an absolutely delicious combination that bring me back to childhood.

That being said, I don't actually make this classic sandwich all that often. I guess other things tempt me and I lose track of time. Before I know it, the delicious summer tomatoes are gone and the pallid, rock-hard specimens that fill grocery stores the rest of the year are back. Those tomatoes don't exactly inspire me to make a sandwich that largely relies on tomato flavor.

However, I was moved to make myself a BLT this week after reading the editor's letter in the new issue of Bon Appetit. I'll first admit that although I read many food magazines I almost never read the editor's letter. It has to really grab me for me to stop flipping through the ads, searching for content. "Best. Sandwich. Ever." followed by a picture of a beautiful sandwich? I was hooked.

The next thing I want to confess is that I was a jilted Gourmet reader. Gourmet was my favorite food magazine ever. When Conde Nast suggested Bon Appetit was a suitable replacement I was not pleased. I subscribed to Bon Appetit at the time but it never really inspired me like Gourmet. However, Bon Appetit recently got a new editor and if you feel like something's been missing since the loss of Gourmet I highly recommend giving Bon Appetit a try (thought I would never say that). The writing is good, the stories are interesting, the pictures are beautiful (more about the food, less about the food sculptures and landscapes of yore), it's a truly inspiring publication. Have you seen the August cover? That pie had me swooning the moment I laid eyes on it.

Just trust me. Before the summer's over, get a ripe tomato, some crisp lettuce, and a great bread and make this sandwich. I'll even give you directions: 1.) Lightly toast 2 pieces of artisan bread, 2.) fry up a few slices of bacon, 3.) spread mayonnaise on the bread and place the bacon, sliced tomato, and lettuce on top, 4.) enjoy thoroughly.

I added some salt and pepper plus a few basil leaves from my garden because I love basil and it looked gorgeous but that's not necessary and definitely not authentic.

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