BLT Grilled Cheese
Sometimes, it’s OK to settle. Unless we are talking about a BLT sandwich—in which case, please never ever agree to anything less than a BLT Grilled Cheese.
The word “settle” does not have a particularly positive connotation. If we settle, it’s because we’ve given up, we’ve decided we don’t deserve the best, and we lack a certain measure of self worth.
Certainly, I wish the best for everyone, but the truth is, in my own life, “the best” is not always the most practical (or affordable) solution. I’m OK with that. My coffee isn’t freshly roasted, my socks don’t always match, and I probably should have washed my hair today, instead of opting for the dry shampoo again. I settled for Trader Joe’s medium roast and put my hair in a ponytail.
Daily survival demands settling and compromise. Maybe it’s the movies we rent or where we go out to dinner. Maybe it’s the discount brands we buy or the pizza toppings we choose to avoid household mutiny. Some sacrifices are bigger than others. Many are worth it.
In a world that demands compromise, we can find refuge in the BLT. I know it sounds odd, but I believe there is comfort in the fact that, no matter what the universe hurls our way, we never need to settle for a sub-par BLT.
Classic BLTs have never particularly appealed to me. Where’s the messy sauce to moisten the bread? The greens hearty enough to stand up to the salty bacon? (Sorry iceberg lettuce—you are not up to the task.) And the biggest question of all, where is the cheese?
Today’s BLT Grilled Cheese is everything a BLT sandwich can and should and must be. It has all of the best parts of a BLT—the thick cut bacon, the juicy tomato—but none of the drawbacks.
Instead of iceberg lettuce (which I find adds nothing to the sandwich but a half-hearted watery mush), I used feisty arugula, which adds peppery boldness. For the bread, I skipped the ho-hum white slices in favor of a multigrain sourdough. It’s slightly tangy, thick, and hearty, perfect for toasting and capable of containing the sandwich’s hot, melty interior.
Since my biggest beef (er, pork?) with BLTs are that they are too dry, I slathered the bread with Dijon mustard. It’s zippy and keeps the sandwich moist.
The final essential: sassy sharp cheddar cheese. Pile that baby high! Making a no-settle BLT is not the time to be skimpy with the good stuff.
April is National Grilled Cheese Month, and while I’m not usually one to plan my dinner schedule around food holidays, grilled cheese is a culinary genre I feel deserves the recognition. After all, when a meal is this easy, cheesy, and flavor-packed, we’d be settling if we missed it.
Go forth and griddle!
BLT Grilled Cheese
Want a better BLT sandwich? Make this BLT grilled cheese! Thick-cut bacon, arugula, and cheddar will make this the best grilled cheese you’ve ever eaten.
Yield: 2 sandwiches
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
- 4 slices thick-cut bacon, cooked
- 4 slices sourdough bread
- Softened butter, for grilling
- 4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 large ripe tomato, cut into 1/2-inch slices
- 2 ounces freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese
- 2 small handfuls arugula
- If necessary, cook the bacon according to these easy steps. Set aside.
- Heat a large skillet over medium low. To make each sandwich, spread one side of a bread slice with butter, ensuring that you cover all the way to the edges. Spread the other side of the buttered slice with 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, then layer on half of the cheese, 2 strips of cooked bacon, tomato slices, and a small handful of arugula. Spread another slice of bread with Dijon mustard, then place it mustard-side down on top of the arugula. Butter the remaining topside of the bread. Repeat for the second sandwich.
- Once the skillet is warm, cook the sandwiches on each side, until the bread is golden and the cheese melted, about 3 to 5 minutes per side. Be patient and resist the urge to turn up the skillet heat—low and slow will ensure a golden toast and gooey center. Transfer to a plate, let cool a few minutes, slice, and enjoy.
Did you try this recipe? I want to see! Follow Well Plated on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag it #wellplated. I love to know what you are making!
More tasty ways to celebrate National Grilled Cheese Month: