I’ve worn the crest of bacon proudly and held the banner aloft for many years. In conversation, I’ve made sure that bacon has been represented well and that the merits of this delicious food have been fully discussed. Of course, the question of sausages has arisen. “Are sausages better?” This has sparked nothing but passionate reiteration and the urge to eat a large breakfast barm cake. It is only in the last five or six years that my eyes and stomach have begun to wander. Sausages come in a variety of sizes and with diverse flavourings. This means that the humble sausage has a lot of appeal to someone like me, who constantly looks for new things to try. Bacon has a limited range of guises, but this does not really lessen the appeal. Good bacon, hitting a hot pan has to be one of the kitchen’s greatest sensory moments. The hiss of the water as the fibres in the meat release it and curl up, the sight of the edges caramelising and of course, the irresistible aroma that promises salt, fat and a satisfying chew.
BLT sandwiches are perfectly enjoyable, but I have to be honest and say that bacon is best on white bread with tomato ketchup. No frills. If you’ve had your hit of bacon and ketchup, you may find yourself looking for alternatives and this weekend I made a BLT that ticked plenty of boxes and kept me happy all day. It was actually a bacon, basil and tomato sandwich. As with all food of this sort, it is almost laughable to call the following a recipe, but I enjoyed every mouthful and really wanted to share it with you…the recipe, not the sandwich.
I fried a few slices of smoked back bacon. While the bacon got crispy, I toasted some thick white crusty bread and smothered each slice in really good butter. I added some mixed lettuce leaves and a great dollop of mayonnaisse before placing some halved cherry tomatoes on top. Next I put some large fresh basil leaves on top of the tomatoes and finished with the bacon. I wasn’t aiming to reinvent the wheel, I just wanted to use up some basil that was leftover. I’m so glad I did! It was a lovely addition to this classic sandwich.