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The Ultimate California Grown BLT Sandwich
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5 from 1 vote

California Grown BLT Sandwich

We're giving the classic BLT sandwich a glow up with eggplant bacon weaves and grilled asparagus and pistachio pesto!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword bacon, eggplant, grilled asparagus, leafy greens, Pistachio, tomato
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 people

Equipment

  • Sheet pan
  • food processor

Ingredients

Eggplant Bacon Weaves

  • 1 pound bacon opt for thinner slices rather than thick.
  • 1 small eggplant see note
  • 1/2 tablespoon black pepper optional

Grilled Asparagus and Pistachio Pesto

  • 1 /2 cup raw pistachios
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup chopped grilled asparagus see note
  • 1 cup basil leaves
  • 1 lemon zest and juice divided
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

The CA Grown BLT Sandwich

  • 8 slices bread toasted
  • 4 cups arugula lightly dressed with your favorite salad dressing, we like ranch.
  • 1/2 cup sprouts optional
  • 1 very large heirloom tomato sliced into thick slabs

Instructions

Make the Eggplant Bacon Weaves

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with heavy duty aluminum foil. Dull side up.
  • Slice 1 pound of bacon in half through the center, set aside. (See images in blog post.)
    Bacon for a BLT sandwich being sliced in half to create eggplant bacon weaves.
  • Remove the ends from the eggplant so that it is about the same length as the bacon slices. Then either with a mandoline set on the thinnest setting or a very sharp knife begin slicing very thin sheets of eggplant.
    If using a lager Globe Eggplant as pictured, also slice the thin eggplant sheets in half vertically creating 2 eggplant strips.
    Slicing thin strips of eggplant in half
  • To form one bacon weave, you’ll need 4 bacon halves total and each sandwich you make will need 1 eggplant bacon weave.
    First, lay 2 bacon halves side-by-side horizontally on a pan. Lift one end of one of the bacon slices and lay a 3rd bacon half on top of the bacon slice that is still on the pan. Lay the bacon slice that was lifted up OVER the slice of bacon that was just placed onto the pan. 
    Now repeat the lifting and layering step with the remianing slice of bacon creating a weave or hashtag.
  • Once the bacon weaves have been formed, tuck one or two thin eggplant slices on top of each of the slices of bacon, lifting and tucking just as you did before.
  • Season with freshly cracked black pepper then bake for 40-45 minutes until cooked through and crispy.
  • Gently, remove the eggplant bacon weaves to a paper towel lined plate with a spatula. If the edges are sticking slightly to the foil simply work them free with the spatula.

While the Eggplant Bacon Weaves are cooking make the Grilled Asgapargus and Pistachio Pesto

  • Combine the pistachios and garlic in a food processor fitted with the "S" blade. Puse until all of the pieces are small and similar in size.
  • Add the asparagus, basil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper to the food processor and pulse to combine.
  • Slowly, with the food processor running, stream the olive oil into the pesto until completley combined.
  • Transfer the mixture to a small bowl and fold in the zest, red pepper flakes, and Parmesan cheese. Set aside until ready to build the BLT sandwiches.

How to build a California Grown BLT Sandwich

  • Spread 1/4 cup of the Grilled Asparagus and Pistachio Pesto over a slice of toasted bread. Pile 1/4 of the dressed leafy greens on top. Nestle thick slices of tomato over the greens then top with an Eggplant Bacon Weave and another slice of toasted bread.

Notes

A note about eggplant:

Japanese Eggplant works great for this BLT sandwich, but larger Globe Eggplant works as well. You need to simply slice the thin Globe Eggplant slices into multiple smaller strips and you may have more eggplant than you need.

A note about asparagus: 

This recipe calls for grilled asparagus, but blanched or roasted asparagus also works. It just won't have that smoky vibe.