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Putting a different spin on the classic BLT

Recipe by Chef Duff

We’re in the middle of the summer and I thought it would be fun to make something that both uses the grill but is also a light comfort food, with the illusion of being a healthy alternative to the time-honoured “BLT” sandwich.

The traditional BLT is arguably the most popular sandwich in the western world and takes on a higher popularity in the summertime when fresh local tomatoes are available. This is  to reason that investing in pork belly stock prior to the summer would likely be a  good idea, as the demand and price would rise as tomato season comes to play! (I am neither an accountant nor stock advisor, so please do not quote me on this or hold me responsible for any failed investments.)

The BLT gained much popularity after WWII, as all the ingredients in supermarkets started to become more available year round.

The sandwich being called by its initials (BLT) was a top-secret shortcut used between service and kitchen staff in restaurants but once the secret was out, is now called this all the time instead of the labourious task of having to say “bacon, lettuce and tomato” every time one wants a sandwich.

This take on the recipe uses fresh salmon filet, which one can commonly find in a butcher’s counter or there are plenty of frozen options. We also use roasted tomatoes, turkey bacon, and spinach to give it a different spin and probably makes it a little healthier, as traditional bacon has a bad reputation health wise.

Spicing up the mayo gives in another twist as well.

Although chili peppers originate from the Americas, they are used in many different “hot” sauces and condiments around the world each having its own distinctiveness.

“sriracha” is a condiment of Thai origin. Although you’ll see it being used in many Asian dishes, including sushi, it lends itself to many other contexts.
It is a smooth sauce runnier than ketchup by thicker and sweeter than Tabasco.
It is very easy to mix with mayo or other creamy sauces that will dilute the heat.

Ingredients

  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved

  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil

  • 1/2 tsp. salt

  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/4 cup light mayonnaise

  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

  • 1 tsp. sriracha or other hot sauce

  • 1 – 2lb Salmon fillet

  • 6 slices turkey bacon

  • 6 multigrain ciabatta buns

  • 2 cups lightly packed baby spinach

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F  Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In bowl, toss together grape tomatoes, 1 Tbsp. of the oil, and 1/4 tsp. each of the salt and pepper. Spread over prepared baking sheet. Bake in centre of oven for 15-20 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  • Preheat barbecue to medium-high heat. In small bowl, stir together mayonnaise, lemon juice and sriracha; set aside.
  • Cut salmon crosswise into six equal portions. Brush salmon portions with remaining 1 Tbsp. oil and sprinkle with remaining  1/4 tsp. each of the salt and pepper. Place turkey bacon slices and salmon on grill, perpendicular to the grates. Grill turkey bacon for 3 to 5 minutes, turning once halfway. Grill salmon for 4 to 5 minutes, turning once halfway, or just until cooked through. Set turkey bacon and salmon aside.
  • Split buns and toast on grill cut side down for 1 minute or until golden. Arrange on work surface, cut side up. Spread evenly with mayonnaise mixture. Divide roasted tomatoes among bun bottoms. Arrange one piece of salmon on top of each, breaking up salmon as necessary to fit on bun properly. Cut turkey slices in half; arrange two pieces on top of each sandwich. Divide spinach among sandwiches and finish with bun tops. Secure each sandwich with two toothpicks and cut in half.
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