Ask Ari: How To Build The Ultimate Blt

Ari LeVaux
2 min read
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Dear Ari,

In honor of tomato season, I’ve been experimenting with various forms of the BLT. I’ve tried adding avocado, hot peppers, cheese, ranch dressing, mustard and other logical players. Do you have any words of wisdom in this department?


Well yes, I do have a few thoughts on the BLT. First and foremost, the BLT is nothing without mayo, which interacts with the tomato in a very special way. And my preferred premade mayo is actually fake mayo: grapeseed oil Vegenaise, made by Earth Island.

Why am I such a cheerleader for grapeseed oil Vegenaise? Well, I could say that it isn’t made with low-grade factory farmed eggs, and that would be part of the picture. The fact that there are only eight ingredients, all of which I can pronounce, and all of which I have in my cupboard and fridge, is nice, too, as is the fact that it’s produced with solar energy. But more to the point is that it’s simply the best-tasting prepared mayo on the planet. (And no, they don’t pay me to say it. But I’d love it if Earth Island wanted to sponsor me: Grapeseed Oil Vegenaise, the Official Fake Mayo of Chef Boy Ari.)

Another important element of the BLT is onion. It’s indispensable, as far as I’m concerned, and the sandwich should be called a BLOT.

Many people prefer BLTs made with toasted bread. Toasting keeps the mayo and tomato from soaking through the bread and making it soggy. But sometimes the toast scratches your mouth, especially when the sandwich is so tasty you eat it faster than you should.

So do this: Place two pieces of bread together and toast them as one unit, so each piece has one toasted side and one soft side. Make your sandwich with the toasted sides facing in. Props to my farmer friend Cojones for that brilliant tip.

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