I'm sure that your average BLT doesn't spark much excitement. It's one of those sandwich mainstays, something you can make winter or summer, with grocery produce or tomatoes fresh from the local farmer's market. In fact, I could eat heirloom tomatoes on toast all summer. Throw in a ripe, fresh avocado and you don't need much else. But supper sandwiches need something a little extra - lightly toasted bread, protein, spice, an extra vegetable or two. After years of making BLTs (and even experimenting with Speck and salami in Germany), I believe I've found a golden combination that works for my tastes. The summer BLT incorporates my love of fresh tomatoes and my husband's love of chipotle and avocado. Served on sourdough with a golden Pilsner, this summer sandwich hits on all the right marks: creamy, salty, savory, crunchy.
BLT, Avocado, and Chipotle Mayo Sandwich
8 thick (3/4") slices fresh sourdough
1 sliced heirloom tomato (or any fresh market tomato)
1 sliced avocado
4 slices Boston Bibb lettuce
8 strips thick-cut bacon, cut into halves
1/3 cup Duke's mayonnaise
2 teaspoons dry chipotle
Heat ungreased griddle around 400 F for about 10 minutes, then place bacon strips evenly on top. Prepare tomato and avocado and remove excess moisture with paper towels. Sprinkle liberally with freshly ground salt and pepper and set aside.
In a separate bowl, prepare the chipotle mayo. Combine Duke's and chipotle and whisk until smooth. (If I were being really holistic, I would have made my own mayo and sourdough but it's summer - who has time to plan these things? In any case, feel free to go all homemade.)
Let bacon fry for about 8 minutes until bubbly and crispy on one side. Flip and cook for an additional 6-8 minutes. I like my bacon extra crispy so I watch for that deep ruddy red color - spend less time frying if you like your bacon on the chewy side.
Place crispy bacon on paper towels and pat dry. The trick to this really delicious sandwich is to eliminate pools of water from the tomatoes and grease from the bacon, so pat dry and let your bacon cool for a bit before assembling your sandwiches.
Toast bread lightly in the oven on both sides. I avoid a toaster because I believe it takes away that chewy center that you need from this sourdough. I recommend moving the top oven rack to the next-highest position and broiling for about 3 minutes on each side, or until slightly golden.
To assemble, spread a thin layer of chipotle mayo on both sides of each sandwich. Place a crispy leaf of Boston Bibb on one side and 2-3 avocado slices on the other. Layer lettuce with 1-2 slices of tomato and avocado with 4 bacon halves. Cut in half with a serrated knife and serve with fresh fruit and a summer ale or Pilsner.