The BLT, which we think may be the greatest sandwich ever created, is all about the details and respecting each individual ingredient.
For our perfect BLT, we smeared a thin layer of lemon-laced mayonnaise on our thick slices of white bread, then seared them on only one side until golden brown.
We topped the mayo-fried bread with thinly sliced applewood-smoked bacon that's cooked till crispy perfection in the oven, thick slices of juicy tomatoes seasoned with a nice bit of crispy salt and sweet butterhead lettuce.
Bite in and see what it's all about.
To learn more, read "The Great American Sandwich."
Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen
Yield: 4 sandwiches
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
1 pound good-quality applewood-smoked bacon, such as Nueske's, sliced thinly
3 large beefsteak or heirloom tomatoes, sliced ¼-inch thick
Salt, to taste
⅓ cup store-bought mayonnaise, such as Hellman's
½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Zest from ½ lemon
Eight ½-inch thick slices of white Pullman or Batard bread
8 pieces of butterhead lettuce, like Boston or Bibb
1. Preheat oven to 375°. Place the bacon strips in a single layer on a foil-lined sheet tray. Bake the bacon until just crisp, about 8 to 10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, sprinkle the tomato slices with salt and transfer to a paper towel to drain.
3. Combine the mayonnaise, lemon juice and zest in a small bowl. Spread a thin layer of the lemon mayonnaise on one side of each piece of bread. Working in batches, place the bread, mayonnaise-side down, on a large skillet over medium-high heat and sear, until crisp and golden brown, about 3 minutes. Remove the bread and place on a clean surface, browned-side down, until ready to use.
4. When the bacon is ready, transfer it to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Strain the rendered bacon fat from the sheet tray through a fine sieve over a small bowl; cover and chill for later use*.
5. To assemble, spread a thin layer of lemon mayonnaise on the untoasted sides of bread, then layer the tomatoes, bacon, and lettuce and top with remaining slices of bread. Slice the sandwich in half or in triangles and serve.
*After enjoying all the bacon you cooked, save the rendered fat and use for sautéing bitter greens, or put a spoonful in your cast-iron corn bread.