The secret? A little bit of weaving.
The BLT is a beloved, classic sandwich packed with fresh lettuce, juicy tomato, and, of course, plenty of savory bacon. In this week's episode of Mad Genius, Food & Wine Culinary Director at Large Justin Chapple finds a way to make the sandwich even more bacon-y with the help of a bacon lattice. His recipe for California BLTs takes strips of bacon and weaves them together, resulting in a crispy sheet of bacon that takes the sandwiches to the next level. With the addition of avocado, sprouts, and lemon tarragon mayo, it's a flavor-packed sandwich you'll want to make over and over again.
Read on for Justin's method and follow along with the video above.
First Thing's First—Weave Your Bacon Lattices
Since you're making four sandwiches, you'll need four bacon lattices, and each lattice requires three strips of bacon cut in half crosswise (resulting in six half-strips per sandwich). Weave them using the method Justin demonstrates in the video on a large rimmed baking sheet lined with either parchment paper or aluminum foil. Grab an ovenproof rack, too—inverting it and placing it on top of the bacon lattices helps ensure they'll stay flat while they bake.
Once the rack is in place, get the bacon into the preheated 400°F oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until it's nice and crispy. You can also toast the multigrain bread for the sandwiches at the same time, which will take about 10 minutes in the oven.
Make the Mayonnaise
Meanwhile, get your lemon and tarragon mayo ready. All you need to do is add the finely chopped tarragon and fresh lemon juice into the prepared mayonnaise and whisk it all together—as you're pulling the tarragon leaves off of the stems, make sure to be gentle so you avoid bruising them. Season the mayo with salt and pepper, give the mixture a final whisk, and you're good to go.
Prep Your Toppings
The other toppings needed for the sandwich are sliced avocado, Persian cucumbers (thinly sliced on an extreme bias), sliced tomato, Bibb lettuce leaves, and finally, mixed sprouts such as radish, sunflower, and alfalfa. When you're cutting the tomato, Justin recommends using a serrated knife.
California BLTs© Christina Holmes
Build and Enjoy
Once the bacon lattices have had some time to drain on paper towels and all of your other accoutrements are prepped, you're ready to build the sandwiches. Start by spreading four slices of toast with the lemon tarragon mayonnaise, and then pile on the avocado, cucumber, and tomato in that exact order. (Adding the avocado first helps it adhere to the bread.) Be sure to season the sandwich with salt and pepper before adding on the pièce de résistance, the bacon lattice. With Bibb lettuce and sprouts to top it all off, close each sandwich with the other slice of toast (also spread with mayo) and enjoy all. that. bacon.
"It is a hundred percent confirmed, there is bacon in every bite," Justin says as he tries the sandwich.
This article was written by Bridget Hallinan from Food & Wine and was legally licensed through the Industry Dive publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.