BLTs on Toasted Brioche with Aioli and Basil

Texture is key to the terrific BLT Suzanne Goin serves at Lucques in Los Angeles. She bakes rather than fries the bacon strips, which keeps them from getting too crisp, and uses a creamy mayonnaise made with raw egg yolks. Instead of preparing the mayonnaise yourself, you can substitute 3/4 cup of store-bought mayonnaise; if you use Goin's homemade version, you'll have leftovers.

 

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  • Servings: makes 6 sandwiches
KEY: Fall, Summer, Game Day, American, Sandwiches, Fast, Staff Favorites, Dinner, Lunch

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Ingredients

  • 24 thick slices of applewood-smoked bacon (1 3/4 pounds)
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 large garlic clove, pounded to a paste in a mortar or minced
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Cayenne
  • 3 tomatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced basil, preferably opal
  • Twelve 1/2-inch-thick slices of brioche
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 12 small Boston lettuce leaves

How to make this recipe

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°. Arrange the bacon slices on 2 large rimmed baking sheets and bake for about 15 minutes, or until browned and chewy. Drain on paper towels.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Very gradually whisk in 1 cup of the olive oil; start with small drizzles, then whisk in the oil in a thin stream until the mayonnaise is very thick. Whisk in the lemon juice and garlic paste and season with salt, pepper and cayenne.
  3. Spread the tomato slices on a large plate. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with the basil and the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
  4. Heat a large cast-iron skillet. Spread each slice of brioche with 1 teaspoon of butter and set 2 slices in the skillet, buttered side down. Toast over high heat until browned and crisp. Turn and toast the other side. Repeat with the remaining slices of brioche.
  5. Set the brioche toasts on a work surface, buttered side up. Spread each toast with 1 tablespoon of the mayonnaise. Top 6 of the toast slices with 2 lettuce leaves, 2 tomato slices and 4 bacon strips and close the sandwiches. Carefully cut the BLTs in half and serve.

Make Ahead

The garlicky mayonnaise can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.

Suggested Pairing

A crisp American beer will stand up to the smoky bacon and the spicy cayenne. Try the Samuel Adams Boston Lager or Pete's Wicked Ale.

Contributed By Published August 2004

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