Summer season calls for all delicious and easy-to-make eats, like this juicy BAT sandwich made with bacon, arugula, and tomato smothered in a lemon-basil mayonnaise.
The secret to a great bacon, arugula and tomato (B.A.T.) sandwich is simple; you have a balance of acid, salt, fat, and crunch. This version of a BAT includes a bonus: lemon-basil aioli that’s guaranteed to swoon your taste buds and win your heart.
Does This Sandwich Require a Recipe?
Yes, it most certainly does. Because most of us already know the integral parts to a traditional B.L.T., but I’m mixing things up a bit. This iteration comes with a few nuances to the order of layering the goods as well as taking the flavor up a notch with a flavor bomb mayonnaise that steals the show.
BAT Sandwich: It’s like a Typical B.L.T., but Different
Now I know that nothing competes with a showstopper bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich. It’s guaranteed to please and hit-the-spot, every time. But if there’s an opportunity to up the flavor, I’m game.
This iteration calls for chewy ciabatta bread, swapping lettuce for arugula, opting for thick-cut applewood bacon, and a beautiful balance of acid and fat by way of an unctuous lemon-basil mayonnaise. Read on for the specifics.
Let’s Talk Ingredients
- Ciabatta Bread: This rustic Italian bread is an awesome pick for BATs for it’s sponge-like texture.
- Bacon: This recipe calls for thick-cut, applewood smoked bacon. If you can’t find applewood smoked bacon, go for thick-cut at the very least. Can’t find thick-cut? Double the amount of bacon to make up for lack of thickness.
- Arugula: If your only experience with a BLT involves lettuce, today is the day to switch things up. Peppery and bright, arugula ups your eats, adding an oomph of flavor that balances this BAT quite well. If you prefer a milder taste that arugula lends, go for baby arugula, otherwise, go for mature arugula–which is what is used for this sandwich.
- Heirloom Tomato: What’s a BAT without a beautiful, juicy beefsteak tomato? If you can get your hands on one, go for it, as the flavor is incredible and a perfect addition of acid to balance this sandwich out.
- Lemon-Basil Mayonnaise: Wow. bright, luscious and so easy to make, you’ll be wondering why you don’t already have a jar on hand.
Tell Me More About This Lemon-Basil Mayonnaise
Zesty, aromatic, tangy, and any adjective that fits under delicious, that’s exactly what this Lemon-Basil Mayonnaise is.
This mayonnaise goes so well with the flavors within this sandwich, and honestly, a key pairing with baked potato fries, wraps, and so much more.
Lucky for you, the recipe for this mayo will leave you with a bit leftover. I figured you might want to try it on other eats–you’re welcome!
Just a few key ingredients, a quick blitz in a food processor or blender and you’ll be ready for spreading:
- Quality Mayonnaise
- Fresh Basil
- Lemon Zest
- Lemon Juice
- Fresh Garlic
- Kosher Salt
How to Cook Bacon for a BAT Sandwich
There are a couple of ways, let’s get to it:
- Cast-iron skillets are a terrific option. Bacon can be cooked stovetop or in the oven at 400°F for 20 minutes or until bacon is golden, crisp and edges begin to curl. When using a cast-iron, cook bacon in batches, so as not to overcrowd.
- If cooking over stovetop, keep flame at medium to medium low, so as to keep oil splatter to a minimum.
- Cook on stovetop for 6 minutes on each side, assessing for crisp, curl to your desired preference.
- Baking Sheet with Wire Rack is another great option. Using a wire rack suspends bacon to keep from cooking and sitting in an oil pool. If leaning towards this option, Cook bacon at 400°F for 20 minutes or until bacon is golden, crisp and edges begin to curl.
- Don’t Forget to Drain Bacon by placing bacon on a paper towel-lined plate, to removing excess grease.
How to Assemble a BAT
There’s much debate about this, but this is how I layer my BAT:
- Ciabatta Bread toasted (of course!) and don’t be scared to layer lemon-basil mayonnaise on both sides.
- Arugula that has a whisper coating of olive oil.
- Sliced Heirloom Tomato and keep those slices thick, folks.
- Thick-Cut Bacon bring on all the crispy, salty goodness.
- Second Ciabatta slice, then cut diagonally.
Looking For More Sandwiches?
Do You Love This Recipe as Much as We Do?
- 8 slices thick-cut applewood smoked bacon or 16 slices thin-cut bacon
- 4 slices ciabatta bread, toasted once bacon is cooked
- 1 large beefsteak tomato, thick slices
- Two handfuls arugula
- 1½ teaspoons quality olive oil
- Fresh cracked pepper, to taste
- Kosher salt, I use Diamond Crystal brand
- ½ cup quality mayonnaise
- 22 fresh basil leaves,
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- ½ small lemon, juiced
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, optional
- 1 clove garlic
- Preheat oven to 400°F
- Using a cast iron or baking sheet with a wire rack rack, place bacon in the oven and cook for 10 minutes or until bacon edges curl and desired crispiness is achieved. Once cooked, remove excess grease by using a paper towel-lined plate.
- While bacon cooks, start making lemon-basil mayonnaise. Add all ingredients to a food processor or blender and pulse until basil leaves are finely chopped. You may have to stop the food processor a few times and scrape the sides down. Place in a sterilized container and set aside.
- In a small bowl, add arugula, olive oil and a pinch of kosher salt (optional). Mix well and set aside.
- Once bacon is cooked and drained of excess grease, toast ciabatta bread.
- Spread lemon-basil mayonnaise on both sides of toasted ciabatta bread.
- Next, top with arugula.
- Add beefsteak tomato slices. Top with a whisper of freshly cracked black pepper.
- Add bacon slices.
- Top with second slice of toasted ciabatta. Slice diagonally.