As I write this week’s recipe, the fragrance from an earthy, vine-ripened tomato picked just under an hour ago remains on my fingertips. One of nature’s finest fragrances, in my opinion. There is simply nothing better than a freshly-picked summer tomato. Once I pick a tomato from the vine, I like to brush the light layer of dirt off with my hands and t-shirt and devour it on the spot! Lodi’s endless hot days create a one-of-a-kind, meaty, succulent tomato and are truly one of summer’s most treasured gifts!
Some of my tomato favorites include a tuna stuffed tomato, a refreshing caprese salad, or simply the perfect topping on a delicious hamburger. On the menu this week – a BLT sandwich. If you are like me, I love the addition of sliced avocado to my BLT.
I wanted to add additional flavor and textures to this week’s creation, so I will be teaching you how to create one of summer’s classic sandwiches right on the Bull BBQ! You can cook the bacon on direct heat using the Bull Non-Stick Oval Grill Pan. Grilling the avocado and thickly sliced tomato directly on the hot flames will surely give this sandwich additional flavor. Finish by adding an amazing crunch to the grilled sourdough bread, and top it off with an ancho aioli. This smoky, savory grilled BLAT may become one of your favorite summer sandwiches.
Chef’s Note: I like to use ancho paste and mayo as a time-saver when creating an aioli. I only add a small amount of ancho paste, which gives it just a little kick in heat and a hint of smoky flavor, the perfect combination to balance all the amazing flavors in the grilled BLAT! Once the avocado is grilled, I like to slice-fan into 4 to 6 slices before placing onto the sandwich.
- Ancho Aioli: makes 1 cup
- 1 full cup mayo
- 1 tablespoon ancho paste
- ½ lemon, juice
- Salt and Pepper
- Grilled BLAT
- 2 slices, sourdough bread, local, San Francisco preferred
- 4 thick slices, applewood bacon
- ½ avocado, pitted, peeled
- 1-2 vine-ripened tomatoes, washed, center removed, and cut into 1” slices
- 2 pieces, butter lettuce, washed, patted dry
- 2 tablespoons evoo
- 2 tablespoons ancho aioli
- Salt and pepper
- Mix all the ingredients for the aioli, cover and set inside the refrigerator until ready to use.
- Turn the grill onto medium heat and place the Bull Oval Non-Stick Pan to one side.
- Clean the grill grates and lightly oil the surface with a oiled rag.
- Place the bacon inside the pan and cook for about 6 minutes before turning over.
- Finish the bacon by turning over and allowing to cook another 6 minutes until desired doneness. If you would like your bacon a little more crunchy, allow it to cook a bit more.
- Place the bacon on a plate lined with a paper towel and set aside.
- Turn the heat up to high and brush the cleaned grill grates one more time with an oil rag to assure the tomato and avocado will not stick.
- Lightly salt and pepper the avocado and place on the grill. Do not touch or move the avocado so nice grill marks form.
- After 5 minutes, gently turn the avocado over to finish cooking. Once done, remove from the grill.
- Lightly salt and pepper the tomatoes. Brush with olive oil and place onto hot, clean grill grates. After one minute, using the Bull Spatula turn the tomatoes over to finish grilling. Total time only two minutes.
- Brush the sourdough toast on both sides with evoo and place over medium heat on the clean grill grates.
- Allow for grill marks to form, around 2 minutes total before turning over to finish.
- Once the bread is ready, remove from the grill and the sandwich is ready to assemble.
- To plate, put 1 tablespoon of aioli on one side of both pieces of grilled sourdough bread. Set one of the pieces of dressed bread to the side, which will be used to top the sandwich off.
- Place the four strips of bacon onto the other piece of grilled bread dressed with aioli. Next, add the grilled, sliced avocado, followed by the grilled tomato, and last the butter lettuce. Top off with the other slice of grilled bread and slice in half and eat immediately!
♥ Chef Amy