Any diner worth its salt will have a classic BLT on the menu—usually served on toasted white bread slathered with mayo. Admittedly, delicious. But alas, not something I can order on a regular basis. Every once in a while, I’ll indulge myself.
As a home gardener, I think the best BLTs come from the home kitchen—made with freshly baked sourdough bread, local smokehouse bacon, homegrown tomatoes, and lettuce picked fresh that morning. Of course, when I look at it that way, it makes me want to head out to garden to check on my growing lettuce to see what kind of lettuce is ready for sandwiches.
I love baking about as much as I love gardening. But, just as I don’t eat everything I grow, I don’t—or shouldn’t—eat everything I bake. The warm, enticing smell of bread fresh from the oven makes me want to take just a little pinch off the end…
So now I’m striving for some balance. Having a thriving home garden means I have plenty to keep me busy—and away from the breadbox. I’ve been growing Romaine lettuce for quite a few years now because it’s sturdy and reliable, and I’ve found some tasty varieties I really enjoy.
I’ve made other sandwiches with Romaine instead of bread before: roast turkey with Swiss; a sort of Romaine Reuben with Russian dressing; even a ham and cheese on Romaine.
It’s only recently that I’ve tried making my BLT breadless. I have to say, on a hot day, it’s rather refreshing to have the extra crispness of the Romaine on the outside instead of it being restrained between two slices of rye.
Give it a try and see how you like it.Print
Best BLT Boat
Love yourself a BLT, but you could do without the carbs? Skip the bread altogether and let the Romaine do the heavy lifting. Hearty and satisfying, it’s a perfect “sandwich” you can pull together in no time.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: Serves 4 to 6 1x
- Category: Salads & Dressings
- Romaine lettuce leaves, washed, trimmed, and dried
- 16 bacon strips
- 2 cups chopped tomatoes
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup ranch dressing (or another dressing of your preference)
- Fry bacon until it is more on the chewy side than the crumbly side. Blot on paper towel.
- To assemble your BLT boat, put 1 to 2 slices of bacon in the bottom of the Romaine leaf.
- Top with tomatoes and cheese.
- Drizzle dressing over the top.
- Alternate Assembly: Crumble bacon into pieces. Mix with tomatoes, cheese, and dressing. Fill Romaine boat with mixture.
- If you like, you can turn your BLT boat into a wrap. Use a lettuce with more flexible leaves. Fill, fold, and serve.
Of course, you can always go the traditional route and make the lettuce part of the sandwich filling rather than the base.
Have you tried this recipe? What’s your favorite way to make a BLT? Please tell us your preferred approach.