I am an unapologetic turophile. For those of you who don’t know, that means cheese-lover. I also love bacon. And I am definitely not alone with my enthusiasm for cured pork belly. And combining the two in one sandwich, for me, yields up some pretty tasty eating. One of my favorite sandwiches, especially in the summer, is the humble BLT, or bacon, lettuce and tomato, the staple of many a diner menu. Just the thought of salty bacon, crunchy lettuce and garden-ripe tomatoes—with just a dab of creamy mayonnaise—is enough to set my salivary glands into overdrive.
But why stop there? I enjoy playing around with old favorites, seeing if I can introduce new flavors to keep things interesting. I made a BLT, substituting blue cheese salad dressing for the mayonnaise. That worked pretty well, but I like my cheese best when it’s warm and melted. So I worked on this recipe, the BBLT (blue cheese, bacon, lettuce and tomato). Now, this recipe is not low-calorie, so I wouldn’t eat it every day. But as an occasional lunch or supper, I think it’s worthwhile.
1 large, ripe tomato
8 slices thick-cut bacon
2 ounces blue cheese (crumbles or thin slices)
4 slices sourdough bread
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
4 leaves romaine lettuce
- Remove stem end from tomato and a thin slice off the bottom. Cut tomato into four equal slices and lay them on a paper towel-lined plate. Sprinkle all with a pinch of salt. (This will help flavor the tomato and remove excess water, which can make your sandwich soggy.)
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Arrange bacon slices on sheet so they are not overlapping. Place in cold oven and set temperature to 400 degrees. Depending on how fast your oven heats, the bacon should be done about 20 minutes after you turn your oven on. The first time you do this, watch bacon carefully after about 15 minutes.
- When bacon turns a nice golden brown, carefully remove baking sheet from oven, place bacon on another paper towel-lined plate and allow to cool slightly. Close oven door to preserve heat and turn oven off.
- Drain grease off baking sheet. Arrange cooked bacon on foil in two groups of four parallel slices, about the same width as the bread. Place 1 ounce of blue cheese on each group and return sheet to hot oven.
- Meanwhile, toast bread to your desired setting. Spread with about 1 tablespoon or more of mayonnaise and place a lettuce leaf on each slice.
- When cheese has melted, remove baking sheet from oven. Using a spatula, slide each four-slice group onto a slice of bread. Top bacon with two slices of tomato, two lettuce leaves and the other slice of bread.
- Slice in half on a diagonal and serve.
Servings: 2. Serving size: 1 sandwich. Per serving: 720 calories, 34.8 g protein, 26 g fat, 82.3 g carbohydrates, 5.3 g dietary fiber, 1,931 mg sodium, 7.4 g sugars, 60 mg cholesterol
Cook’s Tip: You can cook a whole pound of bacon at a time with this oven method and save the extra for other uses. To ensure even cooking, make sure bacon slices are separated.