The best BLT sandwich

The best BLT sandwich

Done right, Martha Collison's recipe is a true celebration of summer. The secret to creating sandwich heaven rests with the quality of the tomatoes – ripe, sweet, summer ones, seasoned to perfection with crisp streaky bacon paired with garlic lemon mayonnaise. I roast my tomatoes to ensure they’re full of flavour, but if you’ve sourced them at the height of summer you can skip this step.

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  • Serves2
  • CourseLunch
  • Prepare15 mins
  • Cook35 mins
  • Total time50 mins
  • PlusPreparation time 15 minutes + cooling

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Ingredients

  • 8 rasher/s No.1 Free Range Beech Smoked Streaky Bacon
  • ½ little gem lettuce, leaves removed and washed
  • 320g loaf Bertinet Focaccia with Rosemary & Sea Salt

For the garlic lemon mayonnaise

  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 British Blacktail Free Range Large Egg
  • ½ unwaxed lemon, zest and about 1 tbsp juice
  • 1 clove/s garlic, roughly chopped
  • 100ml olive oil
  • 100ml vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt

For the slow roasted tomatoes

  • 2 large vine or beefsteak tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Method

  1. Start with the mayonnaise. It’s easiest to use a stick blender (if you don’t have one, see tips, right). Place the mustard, whole egg, lemon zest and juice and garlic into a tall beaker – one with a stick blender is perfect. Combine the olive and vegetable oils in a jug, then pour in 75ml oil and blitz until combined, holding the stick blender still and making contact with the beaker’s base.

  2. Add another 75ml oil and blitz again, this time moving the stick blender up and down in the beaker. A thick emulsion should form. Add the remaining 50ml oil, blitz for 1 minute until smooth and thick, season to taste with salt, then spoon into a clean sealable jar. The mayo will keep for up to 1 week in the fridge.

  3. Preheat the oven to 200ºC, gas mark 6 and line a baking tray with baking parchment. Using a serrated knife, slice the tomatoes into 1cm thick rounds, then arrange on the tray and drizzle with 1 tbsp oil. Season, then roast for 35 minutes, until beginning to caramelise. Allow to cool to room temperature.

  4. Heat a large frying pan, then fry the bacon for 6 minutes, or until crisp (see tip, right). Drain on a sheet of kitchen paper to absorb any excess grease.

  5. To assemble the sandwich, slice the focaccia in ½ horizontally, then spread each side with a thin layer of mayonnaise. Layer the roasted tomatoes, crispy bacon and lettuce leaves, place the top layer of bread on top and press firmly to fuse everything together. Slice and serve immediately, or pack into lunchboxes.

Cook’s tip

Bacon lattice

BLTs aren’t renowned for their structural stability, so I fry my bacon as a ‘bacon lattice’! Simply overlap and weave together the slices of raw bacon before frying, and it holds together beautifully in the sarnie. Or cook it on a baking parchment-lined tray at the same time as the tomatoes, until cooked through and golden.

Homemade mayonnaise

This recipe will make more mayonnaise than you will need for two sandwiches, but splitting the egg feels wasteful, so keep the excess in the fridge ready to enjoy with fries or sandwiches later in the week.

No stick blender?

This mayonnaise can also be made by hand. In a medium bowl, whisk together the mustard, whole egg, lemon zest and juice, salt and crushed garlic. Slowly drizzle in the oils, whisking continuously, until thick and smooth. Season and store for later use.

Focaccia

After testing this sandwich with different types of bread, I landed on spongy focaccia as my favourite. Try making it from scratch using my The Best focaccia recipe. If you prefer less bread in a sandwich, slice in half horizontally, then cut the top half in half again.

Nutritional

Typical values per serving (with 1/4 of the mayo) when made using specific products in recipe

Energy

4,069kJ/ 977kcals

Fat

64g

Saturated Fat

13g

Carbohydrates

69g

Sugars

4.7g

Fibre

4.6g

Protein

28g

Salt

5.5g

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