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Recipe of the Week: The Next Best Bacon Lettuce and Tomato

by Leigh Sackett

My tomato plants are not doing well this year and several other people I have talked to are having the same problem. But then on Sunday my minister, Tupper Garden, delivered a wonderful sermon (which happens to be featured as the Preacher’s Corner this week; see pg. 4) about his tomatoes and he even brought in his perfect first tomato for all of us to see! Of course his sermon was not just about tomatoes; it was about the The Parable of the Sower. I bet our congregation thought about Jesus as they ate their tomato sandwiches that day!

So even though struggling tomato plants are all around me, I saw in that worship service a healthy tomato, I knew they were out there! So I set out into the community in search of a place to purchase a couple of fruits that would bring summer joy to my taste buds. Luckily, the tomatoes, at the Wertz’s stand on Brambleton, were looking beautiful, so I brought a few home with me and now I am enjoying someone else’s garden fresh tomatoes – which is Biblical too (just read Acts) and could be included in a tomato sermon.

I like a classic mayo, tomato with salt and pepper on white bread, but this fancier version of the classic sounded very delicious. I will be trying it later in the week after my quest for the perfect avocado!

2 1/2 cups (lightly packed) fresh basil leaves

1 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup butter, at room temperature

12 thick-sliced bacon strips

12 slices (1/2-inch-thick size) fresh country-style white bread or sliced French Bread or Sour Dough Bread

3 large tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds

2 ripe avocados, pitted, peeled, sliced

1 red onion, thinly sliced

6 lettuce leaves

-Mix basil, mayonnaise and butter in processor until basil is finely chopped and mixture is well blended. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.

-Cook bacon in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat until crisp, about 8 minutes.

-Transfer to paper towels; drain. Spread half of mayonnaise mixture over 1 side of half the bread slices.

-Top each with 2 tomato slices. Sprinkle tomatoes with salt and pepper.

-Top tomato slices with avocado, then with bacon strips, onion and lettuce. Spread remaining mayonnaise mixture over remaining bread slices.

-Place bread slices atop lettuce. Cut sandwiches in half and serve.


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