It is time to talk about the BLT Sandwich friends. I’m not talking the sad BLT at the gas station (who orders those?!) Nope. I’m talking Gourmet BLT. The best BLT you can make.
Because, if you’re going to make a sandwich, don’t think of it as “only a sandwich.” Think of it as a time to construct a meal with all the best ingredients on the very best bread. And then sit down to enjoy it instead of eating it in the car or over the sink.
You have earned the break.
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The Best BLT…
…comes from using the best ingredients and the best bread.
It also means going the extra mile to add even more texture to your sandwich.
You already have a bit of creamy from the mayo, some crunch and chew from the thick cut bacon, crispness from the lettuce, and juiciness from the perfectly ripe tomatoes.
Add to that the savory bite of cheddar cheese and the buttery-creaminess of ripe sliced avocado, and now you’re cookin’ with gas.
As a kid, I did not have the most sophisticated palate.
My sandwich rotation was peanut butter and jelly, cream cheese and jelly, and peanut butter and honey. With the occasional bologna and cheese sandwich (Greg’s favorite) thrown in when I was feeling fancy. Oh, and grilled cheese. And bread, butter, and sugar. You know, for snacks.
I distrusted lettuce and didn’t even try it until I was twelve.
Mustard was bright yellow and therefore Suspect. I gave it wide berth.
And tomatoes? Forget it. They didn’t even look like they were done inside. Weird seedy-tomato batter centers. Shudder.
To me, making a fancy sandwich meant alternating the lunch meat and cheese so, when cut, the sandwich would show striking pink and yellow stripes. Très sophistiqué, n’est-ce pas?
What Makes a Great Sandwich for Grown Ups?
I think the main difference between a kid sandwich (or this kid, anyway) and an adult sandwich is that adult sandwiches offer a variety of flavors, colors and textures that either complement or contrast with each other.
Toasted bread, crisp vegetables, soft cheese, the bite of a vinaigrette, salty/savory meats.
A smooth spread of mellow mayonnaise as counterpoint to the pungency of mustard. The Christmassy contrast of leaf lettuce and ripe tomatoes.
The crisp-crunchy brininess of pickles against rich, mellow roast pork.
Kids are often not fans of foods that have a lot of contrasting flavors and textures, so soft breads with soft spreads are generally the hallmark of a kid sandwich.
For me as an adult, it’s the very things I didn’t like as a kid that now make a magical sandwich for me.
Give me all the contrasting flavors, textures, and even temperatures. (Think hot bacon layered onto your blt at the last moment.)
I could go on, but I’m hungry. Let’s get to this gourmet BLT with cheddar and avocado, shall we?
Tools for Making Your Gourmet BLT
Before we make this burger, let’s make sure you’re ready to be a top-notch sandwich artist.
These spreaders are a great shape and size for slathering on all sorts of condiments.
A bacon press is nice to have to make sure your bacon slices lay flat in your sandwich (plus they’re just sort of cool).
A cheese plane is one of my favorite tools for slicing off sandwich-perfect thicknesses of cheese off whole blocks. I love mine and use it all the time.
And every fourmet sandwich maker needs a salad spinner for washing and drying all your salad and sandwich greens.
The Best BLT Sandwich Features the Best Ingredients
You know how much I love living in North Carolina and how fortunate we are to have so many wonderful foods and beverages made by brands large and small here.
I am sure you can find local products in your area that will lend themselves to gourmet sandwich making, too!
I took full advantage of some Raleigh-area offerings to make this gourmet BLT truly gourmet. This isn’t a sponsored post, but these are the local brands I used:
- Multi-grain bread from LaFarm Bakery.
- Thick cut, house-cured bacon from The Butcher’s Market.
- Local, organic heirloom tomatoes at Lowe’s Foods.
I stuck with my beloved Cabot cheddar–their White Oak–because it is savory and wonderful with almost a Parmesan edge. And it warms up to a rather addictive creamy texture.
Of course, I used Duke’s Mayonnaise, the south’s favorite mayo. And an avocado.
Of course, if you love to bake bread, you can always bake your own loaves. Try my oatmeal beer bread made with an oatmeal porter or make a delicious, soft white bread with my Tangzhong pain au lait recipe.
My Best Tip for Adding Interest and Contrast to Adult Sandwiches
Toast the bread.
Seriously, it sounds pretty elementary, but toasting your bread before making the sandwich adds roasted, malty flavor to the bread. And as long as you don’t over-toast the bread, it will give you two textures: crisp on the outside while still being soft/chewy on the inside.
Simple Sides to Go with Your Gourmet BLT
This sandwich is definitely the star of the show, but you may want to serve a couple of deli-style side dishes to go with it. My mom-style macaroni salad is always welcome, at least around here. If you’re a potato salad fan, my no mayo potato salad is pretty excellent, especially at room temperature.
Enough! Let’s make that sandwich, people.
- 4 slices excellent quality bread, sliced fairly thick, lightly toasted
- softened butter
- mayonnaise, Duke's, or your favorite
- aged white cheddar, sliced about 1/8" thick
- 6-8 slices thick-cut bacon, cooked to your liking
- 4 leaves leaf lettuce, washed and patted dry
- 1 perfectly ripe heirloom tomatoes at room temperature, sliced 1/4" thick
- 1 avocado, sliced in /4" slices
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Spread each piece of toasted bread with a thin layer of butter and then a generous layer of mayonnaise.
- Place the white cheddar on the 2 slices of bread that will be the bottoms. Arrange them so they cover the bread as completely as possible.
- Place the bacon on the cheese so you'll be sure to get bacon in every bite. The bacon I used was really huge--about 1 1/2 oz per slice, pre-cooked weight. If you're using grocery store bacon, you may need more slices. And you can also do the bacon weave before cooking to ensure bacon in every bite.
- Arrange the leaf lettuce on top of the bacon followed by 3 slices of tomato.
- Salt and pepper the tomato and then shingle on the avocado slices, 1/2 avocado per sandwich. Lightly salt and pepper the avocado and top with the top slice of bread. Press down lightly.
If you like extra cheese, you can put cheese on all 4 slices of bread so you end up with cheese on the bottom and top of each sandwich. With the fat fron the mayo and avocado on top, I didn't think ours needed extra cheese, but it's your call.
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Amount Per ServingCalories 590 Saturated Fat 11g Cholesterol 43mg Sodium 679mg Carbohydrates 35g Fiber 11g Sugar 5g Protein 18g
And there you have it, friends. A truly gourmet BLT sandwich. A thing of beauty and a joy to devour. But instagram it first and tag me!
Thanks for spending some time with me today. Take care, and have a lovely day.