The BLT is a simple sandwich, but simplicity demands excellence. Each component plays an important role, and maximizing the crisp saltiness of the bacon, the crunch of the lettuce and the juicy sweetness of the tomatoes is what will make the sandwich truly magnificent.
In her New York Times cooking diary, Chef Clare de Boer shares a tomato tip that amplifies the fleshy fruit’s flavour with a little marinade:
Lazy days start with BLTs for breakfast. Luke’s are heaven, and he has two secrets. One: While the bacon is cooking he slices and marinates tomatoes with a splash of red wine vinegar, olive oil and salt. This turns the dreariest tomato into a fantasy of San Marzano. Two: After heavily toasting his bread (plain bagel or a sesame loaf are preferred in our home) he gives it a thick swipe of mayonnaise and follows with olive oil and vinegary tomato juices. Sounds preposterous? It’s perfect.
Not only do you get a more flavorful tomato, it leaves you with a bright tomato vinaigrette to drizzle on top. Do you need to do this for a perfect in-season heirloom? Maybe not. But this tip works particularly well with bland hothouse boys, which is great news, because the end of tomato season is nigh.
This post was originally published in August 2019 and updated in August 2020. Changes included checking links and performing a copy edit to align with current Lifehacker style.
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