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The Ultimate B.L.T for All Seasons

The Ultimate B.L.T for All Seasons
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Claudia’s magnificent Heirloom Beefsteak Tomatoes

Here to Help: The New York Times Recipe for the Best B.L.T. is this one from Clare de Boer.

The perfect Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato Sandwich is a flawless combination of salty crunch, creamy mayo, sweet and tangy tomato, and butter lettuce.  And Clair de Boer’s recipe adds an ingredient that boosts the sandwich to new heights. And it’s something that will let us all make our B.L.T.’s long after the first frost.  The sandwich will now be a year ‘round banquet on two pieces of bread.  A quick marinade guarantees that even a hothouse tomato will taste bright and fresh in the dead of winter.

A New York Times Column is dedicated to helping us through these days of captivity.

Claire de Boer and her family in quarantine, July 2020

On Page 3 of every day’s New York Times, “Here to Help” highlights things like what to wear to a Zoom Meeting, how to entertain bored children, and great recipes. The dishes are all firmly planted in the Comfort foods vernacular. Ms. de Boer is a perfect contributor.  The British born chef is famous for serving sophisticated takes on home cooking at King (18 King Street at the corner of 6th Avenue in Manhattan. Contact: [email protected]. When King shuttered, Ms. de Boer fled upstate with her husband, a Renovator named Luke Sherwin. There, she chronicled their home cooking.  And there, they ate B.L.T’s for breakfast. I started eating them the day the recipe appeared.  And I’ve kept it up all September. We’re finally sharing it with you because I think I finally perfected it.  Thanks to the tomatoes. And the secret ingredient.

Claudia’s Beefsteak Tomatoes brought the sandwich to life. Red Wine Vinegar made it sing.

Imagine a houseguest you’ve never met bringing the perfect ‘host’ gift.  What I loved about it was that handing me her precious cargo, Claudia, who lives in Maryland, said she didn’t think her heirlooms would be as good when she got home, so she brought her babies with her. They were flawless as you can see.  My weeks of experimentation paid off.  The best way to cook the essential thick-sliced bacon?  Put it between two sheets of paper towel. Microwave it to the desired degree of crunch (about 9 minutes for 8 slices). It will be flawless and lie perfectly across the lettuce.  Marinate the tomatoes in just a couple of teaspoons of red wine vinegar. You won’t believe how bright the tomato will taste.  I used a Tuscan Loaf of sliced bread, choosing the largest slices I could find from the center of the loaf. This needs to be really toasted until it’s golden brown and crisp. Don’t skimp on the mayo!  I found slicing a small head of Butter Lettuce in half worked best to provide the perfect for the bacon. Press down the bread. Cut the sandwich in two.  And you’ve got paradise on a plate. Here’s the recipe:

The Ultimate B.L.T.

October 2, 2020
: 2
: 10 min
: Easy

The perfect B.L.T thanks to Crisp Bacon, Butter Lettuce, Creamy Mayo, and perfect Tomatoes whatever the season thanks to a few drops of Red Wine Vinegar.


  • 8 slices thick-cut, smoked or unsmoked bacon, or 16 slices thin-cut bacon
  • 2 heirloom tomatoes (in the summer season, in winter use smaller vine tomatoes)
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 ½ tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Flaky sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 slices good white bread (medium thickness, boule is preferable), heavily toasted
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 6 butter lettuce leaves
  • Step 1 Place bacon between two sheets of paper towel and microwave on high for 8 to 9 minutes until bacon is brown and crisp. Transfer to a large cutting board.
  • Step 2 While bacon cooks, slice tomato crosswise into rounds. Transfer to a plate and marinate with red wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt and pepper.
  • Step 3 Toast the bread until it is golden brown and crisp.
  • Step 4 Spread toast generously with mayonnaise on one side, follow with remaining 1/2 tablespoon olive oil.
  • Step 5 Divide the tomatoes with some of their vinegar marinade among 2 slices of toast. Top with the lettuce.
  • Step 6 Lay the bacon on the remaining slices of toast. Form sandwiches by piling the bacon-topped slices on top of the remaining toasts. Squeeze to close, cut in half and serve immediately.


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