Crispy bacon, juicy roasted tomatoes and crunchy lettuce all makes this BLT sandwich with smoky garlic mayonnaise the ultimate summer sandwich.
The key to making a really great BLT sandwich (bacon, lettuce and tomato) is to make sure that the ingredients you use are of the best quality you can find. Using average bacon, bland tomatoes, below par lettuce and regular bread is just not going to deliver the type of sandwich you are craving. I actually really love Iceberg lettuce as I like the unobtrusive flavor and nice crunch it adds. But feel free to use any lettuce that will add freshness and crunch. The stars here are definitely the bacon and tomatoes. Dry cured bacon that has been baked until crispy-fatty (that perfect place between super crispy and just fatty enough) is my absolute favorite on sandwiches.
If you have perfectly ripe, in-season tomatoes, use them as is. However, slow-roasting tomatoes until they are soft, sweet and intense in flavor is a great way to make sure the tomato element in this sandwich is just as delicious as the bacon. Just make sure to salt the tomatoes generously, whether roasted or raw.
I used sourdough bread but baguette, ciabatta or a farm-style loaf will all work well. Add a good smear of smoky garlic mayo and you have a sandwich to dream about. Perfection in every bite.
How to make a BLT sandwich
Place slices of tomato onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Place in the oven and allow to roast until the edges start to caramelize and the tomatoes are cooked. Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature. Cook slices of streaky bacon in a large pan or in the oven until crispy. Place on a paper towel lined plate to absorb the excess grease. Pour any bacon fat into a heat-safe jar and store in the fridge to use for roasted potatoes.
Make your own aioli by combining egg yolks, garlic, lemon juice, mustard, smoked paprika, salt, sugar and pepper in a blender and blending until smooth. With the blender running, slowly drizzle in oil and blend until the mayonnaise is thick and emulsified.
Assemble the BLT sandwiches by lightly toasting thick slices of bread. Add a generous smear of garlic mayo and top with lettuce, roasted tomatoes and cooked bacon. Top with another slice of bread and serve.
How to cook bacon in the oven
Place slices of bacon (preferably streaky bacon) on a sheetpan lined with parchment paper. Pre-heat the oven to 200°C/400°F. Place the bacon in the oven and cook for 8-10 minutes until the bacon is starting to crisp around the edges. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the sheet pan for another 3-5 minutes before serving. The bacon will continue cooking in this time and will crisp a little more.
What goes with a BLT sandwich
- Smoked chicken sandwich with jalapeño mayo
- Curried chicken salad sandwiches
- Melted Caprese sandwich
- Easy salami sandwich
The ultimate BLT sandwich
For the roasted tomatoes
- 4 ripe tomatoes sliced into thick slices
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 tbsp olive oil
for the smoked chilli aioli (this quantity makes approximately 1 1/2 cups of aioli, keep the rest in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week)
- 3 extra large free range egg yolks
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 garlic clove sliced
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1-2 tsp caster sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 250 ml (1cup) canola oil
For the BLT sandwiches
- 250 g (½lb) streaky bacon cooked to your preference
- 8 slices sourdough bread lightly toasted in the oven
- ice berg lettuce
- Pre-heat the oven to 170°c/340°f and line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
- Place the sliced tomatoes on the sheet pan and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle over the olive oil and place in the oven.
- Allow the tomatoes to cook for 45 minutes to an hour until they start to caramelize.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature.
- To make the aioli, place the egg yolks, lemon juice, garlic, mustard, paprika, smoked chilli, sugar and salt in a blender and blend for 30 seconds until well combined.
- Whilst blending, slowly pour the oil in a thin stream until half of the oil has been incorporated. The remaining oil can be poured in a little quicker as the mixture has already been emulsified at this stage. If your aioli seems very thick you can add a few tablespoons of water to thin it out, just make sure that you blend it well. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
- Transfer the aioli into a bowl and set aside.
- To assemble the sandwich, spread aioli onto the slices of bread.
- Layer the lettuce, roasted tomatoes and crispy bacon on top then sandwich with another slice of bread.
- Serve immediately.