Spoon’s Open-Face BLT

Since I adore sandwiches— they are a perfect food—and clubs, open-face sandwiches, and BLTs are my favorites, I could not resist asking Alain Ducasse to make this sandwich when we cooked together in New York for television. He was surprised and pleased.

This version is as easy as any BLT, except for the tomato marmalade. I suggest you keep some of it in a jar in your refrigerator at all times, using it frequently so that it stays fresh. Or use a puree of oven-dried ones you do yourself (see my oven-cooked tomatoes).

If you don’t have baby romaine or limestone lettuce, use the smallest inner leaves of regular lettuce heads.

Ingredients

  • 24 strips bacon
  • 6 baby romaine or limestone lettuce hearts
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 thick slices country bread, cut ¾ inch thick
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled, cut in half
  • 3 tablespoons Spoon’s Pesto
  • 3 tablespoons Three-Tomato Marmalade or tomato preserves
  • 4 tablespoons black olive tapenade (homemade or purchased)
  • 24 small Baked Tomatoes Confit

Method

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Arrange the bacon strips on a baking sheet and bake until just crisp, about 12 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Finely chop 4 of the bacon slices; keep the others warm.

Wash and spin-dry the lettuce hearts. Cut them in half lengthwise.

Put the lettuce in a bowl and dress in the olive oil and sherry vinegar. Season with salt and pepper.

Grill or toast the bread slices on one side. Rub the toasted side with garlic. Alternately spread pesto, tomato marmalade, and tapenade on the slices of bread, creating 3 distinct layers of each on all the slices. Arrange the lettuce hearts on the bread, add the tomatoes confit, and then the sliced bacon. Shower with the chopped bacon, drizzle with more olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Serve whole with a knife and fork.

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