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David Lissner
for restaurants

Eat this! The BLT, summer’s ideal sandwich

City Provisions' 'Green Zebra' BLT.

City Provisions' 'Green Zebra' BLT.

What it is: The BLT is a wonderful summer sandwich. Composed of ripe, fresh tomatoes, layered with crisp bacon and crunchy lettuce on toasted bread slathered with mayonnaise, it’s best made when tomatoes are at their prime.

Cleetus Friedman (Photo by Christina Noel Photography).

Cleetus Friedman

Though it’s such a simple sandwich, it’s harder to create a perfect version than you’d think. You want the bacon and toast crisp and hot, and the tomatoes disposed so that they don’t squirt out when you bite in.

Where it comes from: While most of the ingredients in a BLT date back to the discovery of the New World, and mayo was invented in the 18th century, there’s no telling who first put them all together. The sandwich as we know it was likely first made in America in the late 19th or early 20th century. The initials “BLT” first appeared in print in 1941. Why bacon-lettuce-tomato instead of tomato-bacon-lettuce? Who knows?

What to do with it: Common variants include the BLAT, bacon, lettuce, avocado and tomato, which makes the squirting problem even worse. At City Provisions in Ravenswood, Chef Cleetus Friedman makes the sandwich with ‘Green Zebra’ tomatoes and house-made bacon-fat mayonnaise.

City Provisions’ ‘Green Zebra’ BLT
Chef Cleetus Friedman

3 slices bacon
2 slices brioche or challah
Bacon fat mayonnaise
2 strip of romaine lettuce
1 thick slice ‘Green Zebra’ tomato

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Lay bacon on a baking sheet and bake until crispy.

Toast the brioche. Spread the mayo on the toasted brioche. Then layer lettuce, tomato and bacon on one slice of bread. Top with the second bread slice. 1 serving.

Bacon fat mayonnaise

3 egg yolks
1 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoons powdered mustard
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup warm water
1 cup strained, rendered bacon fat, at room temperature

Beat the yolks, salt, mustard powder, sugar, pepper, and lemon juice in a bowl until very thick and pale yellow. Add the vegetable oil and bacon fat a little at a time, slowly whisking and making sure the oil is incorporated. Add warm water to thin if needed. Store chilled. Makes about 2-1/2 cups.

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