Being gluten-free can be a struggle. The thing I miss most about my gluten days (besides cheap hot dog buns and normal pizza) are BLTs. My dad would make them every summer, and I loved the way the fluffy bread would squish as you ate the sandwich. To address my serious BLT craving, I crafted these BLT wraps and added fancy mayo to make up for the lack of delightfully squishy bread.
Without bread in the equation, a good lettuce with nice big leaves is crucial. I used butter lettuce, but any lettuce that’s not too bitter would be fine.
Perhaps even more important are the tomatoes. You just want really ripe, juicy tomatoes. Heirloom or beefsteak are probably your best bet.
A BLT obviously needs bacon, but just about anything will do, whether it’s peppered, smoked or sugared. I like to bake mine in the oven to avoid splattering grease, but summer heat might necessitate skillet bacon.
For the basil mayo, you could really use any herb you had on hand. What herb doesn’t go with tomatoes, greens and pork? I toyed with doing a chipotle mayonnaise, but I figured I already had too many chipotle recipes on this blog. And using basil allowed me to take advantage of the in-season herbs. (Fear not, my dearest chipotle peppers, I am coming for you and your smoky heat this winter!)
While nothing can compare to a real BLT with delightfully squishy bread, these BLT wraps are delightful in their own way. They’re fresh and delicious, and they make for messy eating, just like the real thing.
And bread makers, if you’re reading this? Please keep working on developing gluten-free slices that are bigger than the palm of my hand. Yours truly, a hardcore BLT fan. (Although I hear this stuff is pretty great.)
BLT Wraps with Basil Mayo
For the wraps
- ½ pound bacon
- 2 large beefsteak or heirloom tomatoes, sliced thick
- 8 lettuce leaves, washed and leaves separated
For the mayonnaise
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- ½ cup fresh basil, chopped fine
- Dash garlic salt
- Dash white wine vinegar
- Preheat oven to 400ºF. Line baking sheet with aluminum foil and place bacon strips side-by-side in pan. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until crispy. Transfer to paper-towel lined plate to cool. After bacon has cooled, cut or tear strips into 2- or 3-inch pieces.
- Meanwhile, mix mayo ingredients in medium bowl with spoon.
- Place lettuce leaves on serving tray or individual plates and assemble wraps: For each wrap, place a tomato slice, followed by a thick schmear of mayo, followed by bacon. Repeat one or two times for each leaf, depending on size.
Leftover basil or tomatoes? Craft this Blood Orange Gin and Tonic (with basil) or make Smoked Herring and Tomatoes on Crackers. Enjoy the sunshine while it lasts!