Annnnnnd we’re back with recipe #3 of Tomato Week. Are you new here? You can get caught up by reading all about Tomato Week, drooling over Classic Caprese and then dying over Golden Tomato Gazpacho. But don’t forget to come back to life, because today’s recipe involves tomatoes (duh), cheese (of the melty, ooey-gooey variety) AND bacon!
So, if I’m being honest, “BLT crostini” is really just a fancy name for an open-faced BLT. This recipe isn’t game-changing – it’s just taking things that already taste fabulous together and reimagining their construction.
Anyway, there are a few things here that are especially key:
- Grilling the bread – you HAVE to grill the bread. If you don’t have a grill or grill pan, use a skillet. A toaster simply won’t do! Also, you don’t HAVE to use mayo, but trust me when I say it’s worth it. This is coming from a girl who LOATHES mayo. You can read more about using it for grilled cheeses at The Kitchn.
- Melty cheese that you shred yourself. Don’t whine about it (but you can mostly certainly wine about it if you want). Pre-shredded cheese is coated with stuff to keep it from sticking together and this stuff also keeps it from being melty and gooey. Trust.
- Crispy bacon. I don’t care how you like your bacon with your eggs. This isn’t breakfast and the bacon needs to be crispy. Period.
- The “L” in this BLT needs to be arugula, which starts with an A so I know you might be confused. Don’t be confused. Arugula is peppery and light and you gotta use it.
- LAST BUT NOT LEAST! The tomatoes. Y’all. The tomatoes need to be vine-ripened, bursting-with-flavor, gorgeous tomatoes. They’re the icing on the crostini cake so don’t skimp here and buy weird grocery store tomatoes, okay?
Do you follow? Is this too much? Too bad. You’ll thank me later!
fancy for open-faced BLT
2 ripe tomatoes
1 sturdy, delicious loaf of bread
4 oz sharp cheddar (or other delicious cheese)
4 cups baby arugula
8-10 slices of bacon
2 tablespoons mayo or butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon vinegar (like apple cider or red wine)
salt + pepper
Start by cooking your bacon until it’s nice and crisp. I like to cook mine on a cookie sheet covered in tin foil in a 375-degree oven for about 15-20 minutes. Less mess and so much less of a hassle! When it’s done, place the bacon on a plate with paper towels to soak up a little grease.
While your bacon is cooking, grate your cheese and slice your tomatoes (with the stem end facing either right or left). Place your arugula in a medium bowl and toss with olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Cut your bread into 1/2″ slices, then slather both sides of each slice with a little mayo or butter + sprinkle them with salt and pepper.
Once your bacon is done and everything is prepped, it’s time to grill your bread. Heat up your grill, grill pan or skillet until it’s nice and medium-hot, then lay down your slices. Once golden brown, flip each slice and top with cheese. While the other side browns and cheese melts, distribute your arugula on a platter or individual plates. Top with the grilled, cheesy bread, then add bacon and tomatoes. Sprinkle with additional salt and pepper to taste.
I hope you enjoy this recipe! It’s such a flavor-packed way to enjoy your fresh, ripe tomatoes. You can also easily customize it! Use brie or goat cheese instead of cheddar like me, add avocado, drizzle with honey or douse with hot sauce – no matter what, it will be delicious!