Give Your BLT A Tangy Upgrade With Tomatoes Marinated In Red Wine Vinegar

BLTs are a classic sandwich for so many great reasons, from their simplicity to their fresh and salty flavor, and yet they could be so much more. Any dish with as few ingredients as a standard BLT is going to live and die on the quality of what goes in it, and sometimes the components that make up the sandwich aren't on the right level. Bacon is hard to mess up as long as you get appropriately crunchy, and the same goes for a swipe of mayo. The flavor of your lettuce shouldn't be overlooked, but it's there from texture as much as taste. The bread shouldn't be an afterthought, either. You want some real flavor in the form of sourdough or multigrain. But the biggest offender is usually a soggy, bland tomato, taking up space when it should be standing out as a critical component. That's why you should want to try a marinade.

Giving the sliced tomatoes in your BLT an upgrade with a simple marinade can completely transform your sandwich. Just a little red wine vinegar, olive oil, and salt will make your fresh tomato pop with tons of extra flavor. You don't even need to marinate your tomatoes that long. Just slice them and let them soak for a few minutes while you prepare the rest of your sandwich.

A red wine vinegar marinade adds a delightful sharpness to a BLT

The tough thing about tomatoes is that most of the fresh ones just aren't very good. Tomatoes are only in season for a few months each year in most regions, and even then they can be mealy and flavorless. The few exceptions would be a tomato you are picking fresh from your backyard or grabbing one at the farmer's market that was picked very recently. That's because tomatoes lose a lot of sugar and flavor after being harvested, even when handled properly. Many fresh tomatoes are picked and ripened off the vine to make them easier to transport and sell, meaning they've spent days or even a week losing flavor before being sold. This is why so many people recommend canned tomatoes for recipes. They are picked and sealed at the height of freshness, but that's a messy, impractical option for a BLT.

Instead, the red wine vinegar marinade can help bring back the acidic and fatty flavor that your tomato has lost. You retain the tangy, fresh taste that tomatoes bring to the sandwich but get a more complex, satisfying experience. You can swap out the red wine vinegar for white wine or sherry if you'd like. But try to stick with an option that doesn't distract from the tomato too much. A BLT is already a delicious thing, and we just want to give that a boost, not overpower it.