Building the Best BLT…Ever


Summer is special. We all know this, or have the memory of it. An intoxicating haze rolls in with the humidity and extended daylight, bringing a slowness that sets in sharp contrast to the way we live the rest of the year. To me, summer is made up of small moments of pause prompted by the little things: an exceptionally good loaf of bread; a 72 degree day with a light breeze; the smell of grass and a pinkish sunset.

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We’re spending this summer with my in-laws down in beautiful Northfield, Minnesota as our home renovation gets underway. When I tell friends we’ve moved into Joe’s parent’s basement, their eyes get a little wide as they say, “How’s that going for you?” I’m sure Dave and Deb Peters are getting the same question from their friends, too. I honestly can say we’re lucky. We’re old enough to get to know our parents as peers and mentors now that we’re beyond learning the virtues of right and wrong (and meeting a curfew). Dave Peters outwardly expresses enthusiasm and gratitude for the simplest things, and Deb continues to pursue personal health and development through yoga and meditation. Above all, they have a joy for life. There really isn’t much else that matters.

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With any dish, ingredients make all the difference. I’m sure many of you are able to get all your produce locally, and I would encourage you to take sourcing local ingredients a step further by visiting your local baker and butcher for fresh bread and slices of bacon. (Twin Cities: this means a trip to Rustica and Clancey’s Meats!) Everything in this Peters family recipe BLT, except the bacon and tomatoes, came from Northfield. And in a couple of months, thanks to the Peters’ CSA, a entirely local BLT will be possible.

The recipe below, created by Joe and his mother, is damn near perfection.

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BLT with Radishes, Avocado and Pesto Mayo

Time: 20 minutes
Makes 4 sandwiches

1 miche or sourdough loaf from local boulangerie (Rustica)
10 thick cut bacon slices
1 avocado
3-4 radishes (red if you want spice, white if you want sweetness)
2 heirloom tomatoes
1 head of bib lettuce
2 tablespoons of pesto
2 tablespoons of mayo

Step One. Fry bacon. Cook until crispy. Set aside on a paper towel.

Step Two. Prep ingredients.
– Mix pesto with mayo
– Slice radishes, avocado, tomato
– Tear lettuce into large pieces
– Toast bread until light brown

Step Three. Assemble sandwiches.
Spread pesto on both sides of the bread. Place radishes on one side, tomatoes on the other. Then, top the tomatoes with bacon; radishes with sliced avocado. Top either side with lettuce. Combine both sides. Press firmly and cut with a knife.

Step Four: Regret all previously eaten BLTs that just weren’t this good.

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BLT recipe card