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Swanky BLT
Swanky BLT Erin McDowell

The BLT: Three simple ingredients make one helluva sandwich. And while we could just tell you to up the ante by topping it with a fried egg or throwing on some avocado, we’ve got a better idea: Upgrade the whole thing. We swap bacon for pancetta, lettuce for escarole, plain tomato for balsamic-roasted and white bread for sourdough. Even the mayonnaise gets a boost from a touch of crème fraîche and vinegar. Best of all, this fancified version takes just 30 minutes or less.

Makes 4 sandwiches

16 slices pancetta

2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper

1 large beefsteak tomato, thickly sliced

¼ cup olive oil, divided

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Coarse salt

8 leaves escarole

2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar

2 tablespoons softened butter

8 slices sourdough bread

¼ cup mayonnaise

¼ cup crème fraîche

1 tablespoon malt vinegar

1. Cook the pancetta: Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add the pancetta slices, season with black pepper and cook until crisp, about 1 to 2 minutes per side. Set aside.

2. Roast the tomatoes: Lay the tomato slices on a baking sheet and drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar. Season with coarse salt. Roast under the broiler until tender and lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes.

3. Dress the escarole: In a large bowl, toss the escarole leaves with the remaining olive oil and the Champagne vinegar.

4. Build the sandwiches: Heat the butter in the skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bread and cook until it is toasty, 1 to 2 minutes per side.

5. In a small bowl, whisk the mayonnaise with the crème fraîche and malt vinegar to combine. Spread 1 to 2 tablespoons of the mayonnaise mixture on each slice of bread. Top with 2 leaves of dressed escarole, a tomato slice and 4 slices of pancetta. Serve immediately.

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Finishing Touches

It's the details that count! Try these tips

  • This sandwich calls for a sidekick: Our super-crispy shoestring fries are hard to beat.

  • Short on time? Skip the roasted tomato and use slices of fresh heirloom tomatoes seasoned with coarse salt and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.

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