I’m not sure how, but I somehow ended up with a significant other that hates tomatoes. Tomatoes! The glorious fruitvegetable! But he loathes them. Well, at least, he loathes fresh tomatoes. Especially slices, and especially on hamburgers and sandwiches.
So BLTs aren’t really something we do around here. For one, I don’t eat the bacon, so mine is just an LT – lettuce and tomato. And his wouldn’t have tomato, so his is just a BL. So if I didn’t break out a tomato for just my sandwich, we’re looking at a … lettuce sandwich? An L? Yeah, probably not … unless that’s some fabulous thing I’m totally missing out on, and if so, please share now!
Lately, though, I’ve been thinking about BLTs. Maybe throw some fake bacon on mine? It’s not so bad, some of it. Or, scratch that. Just load up the veggies for mine. Maybe swap the tomato for olive-oil-soaked roasted red pepper. Maybe add a little goat cheese to the mix. Maybe swap the lettuce for baby arugula. And add bacon to his (and the bacon-obsessed toddler’s). And hey! Now it’s nothing like a BLT. Now we’ve got an RRPBAGCB.
Hmm. Doesn’t quite have the same ring to it.
Oh well. It’s still terrific, even if it lacks the cutesy name.
You start with rustic, chewy ciabatta bread – preferably warm, straight out of the oven. Add roasted red peppers – homemade is best – doused in olive oil and sprinkled with a little coarse salt. These are really the star of the show. (And, actually, if you consider stopping there, I’ll understand – in fact, just-plain-old roasted red pepper sandwiches are pretty great.)
Then a couple of layers of crunchy, peppery baby arugula and a crumble of soft, tangy goat cheese. Bacon if your tomato-hating carnivore would like, and then just a little extra drizzle of olive oil to make the whole dang RRPBAGCB sing.
The more initials the better, that’s what I say.
- ½ loaf ciabatta bread (I like the half-loaf size from Trader Joe’s – it’s perfect for these sandwiches)
- 8 ounces roasted red peppers, preferably in olive oil
- ½ cup baby arugula, rinsed and dried
- 2 ounces goat cheese (chevre)
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 slices bacon, cooked, drained, and cooled
- Slice the ciabatta bread in half lengthwise and then cut about a five-inch hunk of bread for each sandwich. Lay sandwich inside-up and begin layering.
- First, add a couple of layers of the roasted red peppers. Sprinkle lightly with kosher salt. I add a little more salt for the veggie sandwich, and just a tad for the carnivore’s sandwich because it will have the natural saltiness of bacon, too. Pile a handful of arugula onto each sandwich, then crumble the goat cheese onto the arugula, dividing evenly between the two sandwiches. Lay the bacon on top, if using. Drizzle a teaspoon or so of the olive oil from the roasted red peppers onto the top of the whole thing and lightly dust with black pepper.
- Close up those sandwiches, slice in half, and serve!