Late Summer, Family-Style “BLT”
It’s a famously perfect formula. Even the bad ones are good. Crisp,
salty sweet bacon, next to luscious sweet-sour ltomato, next to crunchy
neutral iceberg, against tangy, sweet, rich mayo, sandwiched between to
pieces of toasted, yet yielding, sweet white bread. It’s study in
texture and flavor contrasts.
And if this one (loaded with the platonic ideal of tomatoes and tons
of fresh herbs) is the first one your kids have, it could just be the
gateway sandwich to a lifetime of vegetable love.
This version substitutes purer, porkier Italian pancetta for bacon. It
uses two varieties of tomatoe that bracket the range of tomato flavor:
the ultra sweet and deep maroon brandywine heirloom tomato, and the
tarter, firmer green zebra (thinly sliced, so as not to overwhelm the
other ingredients). The flavorless iceberg gets a spicy-sweet
herbaceous replacement in a mix of arugula and basil. The bread is a
step up from classic white: get a baguette and toast it slightly. Some
things don’t need to be improved: use the best mayo on the market.
Namely: Hellman’s (or Best Foods, as it’s called on the west coast).
This makes a family sized sandwich that can be sliced into four pieces and served on a platter in all its glory.
2 big brandywine tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 green zebra tomato, thinly sliced
1 big baguette, lightly toasted (under the broiler; careful it doesn’t
burn oh exhuasted parent!), sliced horizontally in to a top and a
8 or so pieces pancetta, crisped in a pan
1 bunch arugula, washed, dried, stems removed. Or, even better, from a bag!
a handful of basil
Instructions: make the darned the sandwich.