whole food ~ well made

Ultimate BLT at

Your Ultimate BLT is Not All About the Bacon

Ah, tomato season is here at last. And that means it’s finally time to enjoy a real BLT.

Bacon. Lettuce. Tomato: Last but not least.

The tomato–a very ripe beefsteak tomato, to be precise–is primary in this triumvirate. But that, my friends, is not all it takes to make the ultimate BLT.

Certainly, great bacon {ideally from a pig raised on pasture}, is part of the winning formula.

And it’s true that the day before we were leaving for our two-week vacation on Cape Cod found me smoking three pork bellies from two different local producers. {Pack, call cat sitter, take out the garbage, smoke the bacon–logical, right? Happily, I didn’t forget it on the smoker in the general chaos of leaving home!}

Aside from the tomato and the bacon, there is the question of mayo: bacon mayo.

But another serious consideration is the mayonnaise. I’ve tried them all, including homemade mayonnaise and the new plant-based mayos. For any one you choose, the key is to grab your favorite mayonnaise and listen closely.

Here is the money, the mark that will distinguish your ultimate BLT: bacon mayo.

Bacon Mayo

It is oh-so simple. You know how you have that bacon fat filmed on the bottom of your sheet pan?

{FYI: I always cook bacon on a sheet pan at 400 degrees F, turning once; never in a pan where is curls, splatters and requires too much handling.}

Generally that bacon fat–if you’re not the type of person who automatically scrapes it into a jar for future use–just gets in the way of cleaning the pan.

{Maybe you leave it there for a few hours to let it solidify and hope maybe it will just go away on its own. Yeah, I’ve tried that, too.}

This is the moment you want that bacon fat. It is the difference between an excellent BLT and a superlative one.

For once it’s cooled, you collect it, say two or three tablespoons, using a rubber spatula. You mix it with your favorite mayonnaise and then you spread it generously onto lightly toasted bread. (Yes, lightly toasted. We don’t want any accidental mouth scraping here.)

Both sides, edge to edge. It’s okay to take your time with this. You’re laying the foundation of flavors.

Now it’s time for some of that lettuce you’ve grown in your garden or bought at the farmers market and it’s as beautiful as a bouquet. Be generous. Then, thick tomato slices on top, sprinkled with sea salt.

Finally, the bacon. Three strips seems enough, torn where necessary to conform nicely to the shape of the bread. And the other well-slathered with bacon mayo slice of bread on top.

Now, you’ve done it! Repeat as often as necessary until the sun-ripened tomatoes are gone.

What’s on your ultimate BLT? Let me know in the comments below or tag a photo #lynnesforage on Instagram or Facebook.


and become a forager

Ultimate BLT with Bacon Mayo

When the tomatoes are ripe it's go time for a classic BLT sandwich. Every component counts, but the one that brings your BLT over the top is a simple bacon mayo. 
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author Lynne Curry


  • 12 strips thick-cut bacon pasture-raised
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise any type, store-bought or homemade
  • 2 medium ripe beefsteak tomatoes
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 slices best-quality tender white bread
  • 4 tender lettuce leaves, such as green leaf


  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Arrange the bacon strips on a large sheet pan and bake until crisp, turning once, about 20 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a paper-towel lined plate. Set the roasting pan on a cooling rack to cool just until it turns opaque, about 30 minutes. (To speed up this process, carefully pour the hot bacon fat into a heat-proof dish and chill in the refrigerator.)
  • When the bacon fat is opaque but still spreadable, whisk it into the mayonnaise. Set it aside.
  • Slice the tomatoes and set aside all but the best 8 slices for a tossed salad or another use. Season with salt and pepper.
  • When ready to build a BLT, toast 2 slices of the bread and spread generously and completely with the bacon mayonnaise. Lay two tomato slices overlapping on top and cover with the lettuce leaf (folded, if necessary to fit on the bread.) Lay 3 strips of bacon over the lettuce and top with the other piece of toast. 
  • To serve, flip the sandwich over with both hands. slice in half and serve.





  1. Bacon mayo. Oh yes please! I could just eat this BLT right now… So good! And I love that you smoke your own bacon!

  2. THAT mayo, right? And THOSE tomatoes! What more could any omnivore desire, Sasha?

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