Part of living the Kaftan Life is celebrating the things that bring joy. It's finding the things that make you feel good and digging into them, whether they're literal luxury (like a beach vacay!) or smaller blessings (like a cheese plate!).
One of those little pleasures that I relish is TOMATO SEASON. I grew up in a town that held an annual tomato festival, and I love a tomato sandwich with just tomato, mayo, and salt. But that doesn't make for much of a blog post, so keep on reading for my other favorite tomato sandwich recipe: the BBT.
Meet the BBT
I hope the acronym BBT doesn't have some sinister meaning on the internet. For our purposes, the BBT is the Bacon Basil Tomato sandwich. It's an upgrade to the classic BLT that's even fresher and more summery than the original!
So yeah, you can stop reading now if:
- you can easily grasp the concept of replacing the L-for-lettuce with B-for-basil
- you are disturbed, saddened, or otherwise offended by amateur food photography
But I do suggest you keep reading! I'm going to tell you how to make the perfect BBT and give you some ideas for fun additions!
- 1 medium to large tomato (Any kind will do! I've even used grape tomatoes in a pinch.)
- 4-6 slices of thick cut bacon
- 4 slices of bread (I like sourdough, whole wheat, flax, or a similarly flavorful and grainy bread)
- 18-24 basil leaves
- Mayo (to say that I "prefer" Duke's is an understatement)
Pro tip: Try to get at least one ingredient locally. It'll make your sandwich taste better, you'll be helping the environment, and you'll be supporting local business.
Prep and Cook
1. Wash your basil leaves and lay flat to dry on a (paper)towel.
Image: Buy a basil plant. Usually, it costs only slightly more than a few pre-picked stems, and planting the basil plant in a small to medium-sized pot will ensure you always have basil on hand for your next BBT.
2. Slice your tomato. I try to get 3-4 slices out of each side of the stem. Also, I cut the slices in half again to maximize the tomato coverage I can get on my sandwich (see image below).
3. Toast your bread.
Image: About to get toasted.
4. Cook bacon until it's crispy. You can cook it in a skillet on the stove or bake it.
5. Transfer your bacon to a paper towel or cooling rack to drain. Blot dry if needed. Don't skip this step! Without it, your otherwise perfectly cooked bacon will lose its crunch.
1. Spread mayo on your toast. BOTH sides. Don't be a coward.
Image: Whether you like a light coating or a thicker dab, be sure to spread it on both sides. Duke's did not sponsor this, I just want to make sure you don't use inferior mayo so I'm including the jar in this image. I'm just now noticing the smudge on my countertop... sorry.
2. Add half of the tomatoes to one side and half of the basil to the other side. Repeat with the other sandwich.
Image: The fledgeling BT sandwich. (Add more basil than this. I was too lazy to go back outside for more.)
3. Break bacon pieces on half and add to the sandwich.
Image: Evenly distribute the bacon for maximum happiness. My co-founder and editor would like to note that my use of 2 strips of bacon per sandwich is "light".
4. Slap it together and cut it down the middle!
Image: Ta-freaking-DA. Does this look good? I don't know, but I know that it tastes great!
5. Serve with a mixed green salad or soup, or enjoy solo.
BONUS! Upgrades to the upgrade
From time to time, we'll add the following to this recipe:
- Pimento cheese (can replace the mayo because it ... is mayo)
- A fried egg
- Fresh-milled black pepper, sprinkled heavily on the bacon prior to baking
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