BLT with Arugula

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Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Do you like BLTs? (BLT=Bacon Lettuce Tomato sandwich for those of you readers not familiar with this American classic.)

I’ve been mad for them as long as I can remember. But I never thought to sub out the lettuce for arugula (which grows like a weed around here) until my mother brought home an arugula BLT from a local bistro (Matteo’s). So good!

The spiciness of the arugula is wonderfully countered by the fatty smokiness of the bacon. If you don’t have arugula available (also known as rocket) you can use watercress.

I wilted the greens in a little bacon fat just to make it easier to pack more into the sandwich.

BLT with Arugula Recipe

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  • Cook time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: Makes one BLT sandwich

Ingredients

  • 2-3 slices thick smoked bacon
  • 1-2 thin slices of a fresh, large tomato
  • 1-2 ounces (a couple handfuls) fresh baby arugula (can substitute watercress)
  • 2 slices of bread
  • Mayonnaise

Method

1 Cook the bacon: Heat a large sauté pan or cast iron pan on medium low heat. Lay the strips of bacon in a single layer on the pan. Slowly cook the bacon, rendering out the fat, until lightly browned on one side. Using a fork or tongs, turn the strips of bacon over to cook the other side.

When the bacon strips are sufficiently cooked remove from pan and place on a plate lined with a paper towel to absorb the excess fat.

Pour out excess fat from the pan (leaving about half a teaspoon in the pan) into a jar or a container to either dispose of or to store. (Never pour bacon grease down the sink, it will clog your pipes.)

2 Wilt the arugula: In the same pan, add handfuls of fresh baby arugula or watercress. Toss in the remaining remaining fat. As soon as the greens start to wilt, remove from heat and remove from the pan to stop the cooking.

3 Toast bread, build sandwich: Toast bread slices in a toaster. Spread mayonnaise (or your favorite spread, butter will do too) over the slices. Layer the sandwich with bacon, sliced tomato, and lightly wilted arugula. Cut on the diagonal.

Eat immediately.

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Showing 4 of 11 Comments

  • Lajuana

    I made this recipe three days in a row last week…..it was easy, light, and delicious! I will never make a BLT again….plus I needed an alternative because I can’t eat allot of lettuce, so this was great for me. Thanks Elise!

  • Nicole

    Wow, what a great sandwich. My new favorite. We used ugly tomatoes b/c they are bit “beefier” and fresh organic/local arugula. love, love, love!

  • Sunny

    Ok, so last week after tennis in the AM, I had this sandwich on the brain. Went to Costco and got my avocados and then to Publix for their 16 grain fresh bread. Didn’t get the arugula as we were leaving for Greenville,SC.to get our fix on seeing the grandkids.
    Couldn’t get home fast enough to make this heavenly sandwich.
    But man oh man, that sandwich was awesome with the avocado.Almost couldn’t wait to sit down and eat it. But I did. YUM
    Next will have the arugula.

  • dave

    Bacon fats clogs the pipe? This scares the daylight out of me. Imagine what it can do to your body!

    Any fat that is solid at room temperature will clog your home’s pipes, not just bacon fat, and should not be poured down the drain. Your body, on the other hand, is designed to process fat. In fact, you need it to live. I highly recommend the following book on the subject: Fat: An Appreciation of a Misunderstood Ingredient, with Recipes by Jennifer McLagan. My grandmothers, who both died in their 90s, were no strangers to bacon fat. My father, who just turned 80, is healthier, and more fit, than most people I know in their 30s, and he adores bacon, eats it at least once a week. As with anything, moderation is the key. ~Elise

  • Leslie

    This was perfect, all the ingredients for this recipe were already in my fridge. I also put a poached egg on top… delicious!

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