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