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.
Smoked Bacon BLT with Arugula Recipe
- 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
1 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 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 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.
Yield: Makes one BLT sandwich.