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Recipe for the world's best bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich


I know what you're thinking: a BLT is a BLT is a BLT, so what makes this the world's best bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich? Homemade basil mayonnaise, that's what. I used my immersion blender and an easy mayo-in-a-jar method from Pille at nami-nami (video recipe) to spin my pungent garden basil into gold. When that mayo met bacon and a farm-fresh, juicy tomato... well, it was magic, pure and simple. I made the mayo in a canning jar with a plastic lid, and it lasted in the refrigerator for three days, by which time I'd used up every bit of bacon and lettuce and tomato in the house, making one BLT after another.


The world's best bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich

From the pantry, you'll need: egg, Dijon mustard, lemon, canola oil, olive oil (not extra-virgin).

Serves 4.


For the mayonnaise:
1 large egg
1 tsp Dijon mustard
5 large basil leaves, chopped
1 Tbsp lemon juice
Pinch of kosher salt and fresh black pepper
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup olive oil (not extra-virgin), or another 1/2 cup of canola

For the sandwich:
8 slices bacon
4 ciabatta rolls (or any firm bread)
1 large tomato, sliced into 1/4-inch
1/2 small head of romaine lettuce


In a one-quart, wide-mouth mason jar (or any other tall jar with a wide opening), place the mayonnaise ingredients in the order listed. Set the speed to high (I use the purée setting), place the immersion blender over the egg, and push the ON button. When you start to see streaks of mayonnaise in the bottom of the jar, slowly start moving the blender upwards, until all of the ingredients have turned to mayonnaise. (This will take less than 1 minute.) Put the cap on the jar, and refrigerate until ready to use.

In a large nonstick frying pan, place the slices of cold bacon. Turn heat to low, and cook, turning once, for 6-7 minutes or until the bacon is browned but not too crisp. Remove bacon to a paper-towel-covered plate to drain.

Slice the ciabatta rolls in half, and toast on a griddle or under the broiler until light brown.

Slather the inside of the rolls, top and bottom, with the basil mayonnaise. On the bottom half of the roll, layer lettuce, one fat slice of tomato, and bacon (2 slices per sandwich). Cover with the top half of the roll, and press down lightly. Cut in half with a serrated knife, and serve.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]

More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:
Bacon jam and cheese panini
Bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich with turkey and chipotle mayo
Deconstructed spinach salad on a crunchy whole wheat rice cracker
Bacon guacamole
Asparagus, cheese and bacon pizza on a pita

Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Open faced mushroom, onion, and bacon sandwich, from Sophistimom
Grilled cheese with bacon sandwich, from Sarah's Cucina Bella
Bacon and marmalade sandwich on pumpernickel toast, from Blue Kitchen
French toast and bacon sandwich, from Baking Bites
Mini bacon tomato and basil sandwiches, from Framed Cooks

Need more creative ideas for using tomatoes all year round? Get 25 Tomatoes, my e-book packed with fantastic recipes, full-color photos and a fun video tutorial. With the FREE Kindle Reading app, delicious tomato recipes will always be just one click away on any computer, tablet or smart phone. Click here to learn more.

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This is going to be made very very soon! Great and very simple mayo recipe. I love it. Thanks!

Sold! PS Why no "extra virgin"?

Barefeet, you've got to try this mayo method. It's great fun and so easy.

Alanna, I followed the instructions from nami-nami, which specifically say "no extra virgin". I expect, though, that it's because of the stronger flavor of EVOO, and not anything to do with the oil itself. I like the mix of canola and regular mild olive oil. And oh, what fun, to whiz this up in a jar!

With perfect simple ingredients, of course it's the best BLT!

I agree with the no EVOO rule. The flavor is too strong and not in a pleasant way (in my opinion).

Is there any cause for concern using a raw egg in this recipe?

Julia, thanks for the explanation. I know you always make your own mayo, and it's delicious. Have you tried this method?

Jason, excellent question. If you are a person who should stay away from raw eggs (compromised immune system), use pasteurized eggs in this recipe, or don't make it at all. However, because of the method, the heat of the immersion blender seems to "cook" the egg, and I wouldn't worry at all about it if you use eggs from a reliable source. Of course, with no preservatives, this mayo doesn't last long, and should always be refrigerated.

STOP! I can't take it - it simply looks too delicious! BLT is my FAVORITE sandwich and to add basil mayo....heavenly. To choose the ciabatta roll - that is really just putting it over the edge for me....I have to run home now and fry up some bacon....

This is certainly one of the best looking BLT's I've come across. Yum!

Oh My! Stop this insanity now. I'm gonna look like a rabid dog with all this slobber. I have a weakness for BLTs and that sounds plain awesome.

That sounds delicious! I add chimichurri herbs to my mayo, but I don't make my own. I love the jar method. I'll have to try it!!

Lydia - I have never made mayo in this method but it makes sense... if you layer the ingredients as suggested, and start from the bottom - you'll "whisk" the egg and slowly incorporate the oil, and the emulsion will work. I don't have an immersion blender. And since I have a dishwasher, I don't think too much about pulling it out to make mayo in that method. I'm much too lazy to whisk by hand.

Carol and Carol: You two are making me laugh! I have to admit this BLT is hard to resist.

Nisrine, it's as good as it looks. Really.

EB, chimichurri herbs would be great here, and I have lots of parsley in my garden now.

Julia, you must try this method, if just for fun (I'll lend you my immersion blender). It's so fast and easy.

Yes that mayo looks amazing but so does the bacon and that red tomato and the roll and even the lettuce!

Yum. I can really imagine how good this must taste. Must try this method for making mayo.

Homemade mayo, run-ripened tomatoes, I don't think it can get better than this...oh yes don't forget the bacon too!

I can see a debate emerging here - what makes a BLT the best? Is it the bacon, the lettuce, the tomato or the mayo? Tough choice, but the thought of basil mayonnaise does sound pretty delightful!

Maris, I love the vibrant colors -- the whole sandwich was so seductive that I had to name it "the world's best."

Kalyn, this was a rare treat for me, but oh so good. Making the mayo in the jar was great fun.

Bellini, I just can't imagine a better sandwich!

TW, the basil mayo, and the toasted roll, and the farm fresh tomato.... well, no debate in my mind. This was the best. Ever.

Oh, Lydia, you're so sweet for mentioning me. Alanna- you can check my original post, there's an explanation from Cooks Illustrated (via Delicious Days) re: why no extra-virgin olive oil!

Another classic made better by something so perfect. I can just imagine the flavor of that basil mayo. I've made mayo with XXOO before and it's an acquired taste -- quite pungent. You're so right that the canola tempers that. It's gorgeous :)

Pille, I've been having so much fun making mayonnaise thanks to you!

Kellypea, you can pull other herbs from the garden and use the same method (tarragon? lemon thyme?). Each batch makes just a little bit, and it doesn't last, so have fun experimenting.

What a beautiful sandwich! And lots of mayo...just the way I like it :)

Breads make all the difference too. There is a world of difference between a white bread and an herb bread or wheat sourdough. I even like sandwiches on english muffins :)

I'm BLT obsessed...actually I'm bacon obsessed. I will have to try making mayo this way. It looks mouth watering!!

Wow, that recipe for mayo worked like a charm...I've made mayo lots of times and too often it's touch and go with the stuff emulsifying correctly in a food processor or blender, and it takes so long when you have to drizzle the oil gradually. I used this method and in less than one minute I had perfect mayonnaise. WOW, thanks for that!

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