Smoked Bacon BLT with Arugula

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

  • 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 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.

Eat immediately.

23 Comments

  1. Anna

    Actually, during tomato season, I make BLT salads with baby arugula leaves, since I don’t eat bread anymore. Homemade mayo thinned into a Ranch-y salad dressing is usually how I dress it. I’ve got a long wait for tomatoes, though.

  2. Colin Cunningham

    I also love this, but with a softly fried egg, cooked after the bacon has given off some of its fat.

  3. Michelle in NZ

    It looks just gorgeous. I’d add slices of avocado too. Failing that then a drizzle of avocado oil.

    Yummo!

  4. Dave

    Yes Elise. I’m sure the ONLY reason you wilted the arugula in the bacon fat was to fit them into the sandwich… ;)

    What? You question my motives? ;-) ~Elise

  5. chrissy

    Sounds delicious! Wouldn’t it be a BAT sandwich though? Doesn’t sound quite as good that way I guess ;)

  6. Jane Ridolfi

    Looks fabulous!A fabulous combination of flavors and textures… Mizuna would be great too as a substitute for the arugula……

  7. The Nervous Cook

    This sounds really great, though I’m not normally one to worship at the alter of bacon. I’m always looking for substitutions for it in a _.L.T.: Tofu L.T.? Scrambled-egg L.T.?

    Whatever I find to finally sub in will probably still be a great match for the arugula, though. What a simple and delicious swap!

    Try avocado as a sub for the bacon. It’s my dad’s favorite sandwich (still have to write that one up). The ALT. ~Elise

  8. Jim

    Could you use Mâche Rosettes instead of arugula?

    If you try it, please let us know how it turns out. ~Elise

  9. Val from PA

    I love BLTs too and I bet they would be delish with arugula… I like to add some chopped fresh basil and a touch of garlic to the mayo… Yum!!

  10. jonathan

    Is that a nice whole or multi-grain you built that on? After all, given the simplicity of the BLT (‘scuse me…BAT), it is all about the ingredients, right?

    It is a multi-grain sliced loaf bread, yum! ~Elise

  11. Ron

    Ever since starting on the South Beach diet several years ago, have been using baby spinach in place of lettuce for this and wouldn’t have it any other way. Will try the arugula but can be more bitter than spinach.

    Make sure to stick with baby arugula which will be spicy, but not bitter. The leaves of the more mature plants can get bitter, in which case you can cook them like any other bitter green, such as kale or chard. ~Elise

  12. Sunny

    BLTs are my most favorite sandwich. Sometimes I use baby spinach. But the suggestion of avocado is brilliant. I would even add it to the BLT. Looks like that is tomorrow’s lunch. Any excuse to have bacon is ok with me.

  13. The Duo Dishes

    Spicy arugula…great idea. Imagine pairing it with spiced or candied bacon too. Fabulous.

  14. David

    There’s a place here that makes a sandwich called the B.A.L.T (Bacon, Arugula, Lox and Tomato) on whole wheat bread. It’s very good with a glass of lemonade on a hot day. (Maybe lox is a solution for The Nervous Cook – as a sub for bacon.)

    Summer’s coming! Woo!

  15. Frank Woelke

    Why not use Fresh spinach, egg salad, Bacon, and tomato? Then you will have a spinach salad Sandwich. They are real good Especially if you put Bacon fat with a little sugar as a dressing istead of mayonaise. I love salad sandwiches. I make a cobb salad sandwich with basically the same stuff plus Avocado and blue cheese.

    Now I’m getting hungry, I have to go make me a sandwich right now. LOL

  16. KeeKee

    I am also craving this sandwich but I will not break until the homegrown summer tomatoes are in. My tip for this sandwich is to let the toast cool before spreading the mayo, less gets melted into the toast and therfore, more creaminess to enjoy!

  17. dinah

    Sounds terrific! I love BLTs with arugula. Add a little pepper jelly for a touch of sweetness and a bit of bite.

    Great idea, thanks! ~Elise

  18. Anna

    My husband and I made this for dinner tonight. We both loved it and would make it again. We used apple smoked bacon which has the most wonderful flavor. The slight peppery flavor of the arugula with the sweet tomatoes and the smokey bacon was so delicious.

    It was the perfect quick dinner since we had all the ingredients in the house.

    So glad you made it, and liked it! ~Elise

  19. Leslie

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

  20. 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

  21. 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.

  22. 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!

  23. 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!

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