As I have stated in previous post NOTHING gets me more jazzed than fresh summer produce. It’s not just the fruit and vegetables, it’s the people, it’s the open air shopping, the farmer’s markets, the little gems you find along the highway and in the produce stands. I found a SOLID WINNER just a few miles down the road from my house. A little place called Jazzi’s Flower Center. The produce was full and well stocked, but more importantly the man who was running the place at the time was very eager, helpful and pleasant to deal with. When I asked if he had fresh basil, he quickly grabbed his scissors walked around and snipped me some. You just can’t get much fresher than that. That’d be his hand in the picture below.
*Note: we enjoyed these with our Habanero Aioli. I highly recommend it.
And boy did they have Indiana home grown tomatoes.
Now back to what I was there for. A trademark summer meal is the classic BLT, I wanted to pull as much of the fresh taste of summer out of it as I could while combining it with my passion for grilling and BBQ.
What to expect: By grilling the tomatoes you reduce the moister and intensify the tomato flavor. The fresh basil really pops, bringing the freshness to a whole new level. The onion will gain you some depth in flavor while the provolone cheese pulls it all together. A hit of light fruit wood smoke gives it a wonderful outdoor flavor and leaves no mistake about where it was cooked. Of course bacon does what bacon does…… just taste GREAT.
What you’ll need: yield 6 great sandwiches.
1lb thick cut bacon
3 large ripe firm tomatoes
2 large sweet onions (like candy onions)
1 large handful of fresh basil
1 stick of unsalted butter
1 loaf of firm bread of your choice
6 slices of provolone cheese
Salt and pepper
Begin by setting your grill up for indirect cooking.
While your coals are coming up to temperature finley slice your basil using the chiffonade technique.
Slice your tomatoes and onions into at least 1/8 inch thick slices.
On top of each onion slice add basil, then top with the tomato. Season it well with salt and pepper, then add a little more basil.
Place on the grill in the void between the piles of coals.
Let cook with lid on until the onion is soft and the tomato has began to take on a deeper red color. About 20 minutes.
Place the cheese on top of the tomatoes cover and let cook another minute, until cheese is melted.
Spread coals for direct cooking. Butter one side of the bread and place it on the grill, while it’s searing butter the other side.
Once the bread is done add your bacon, the grilled tomatoes, lettuce and your choice of dressing. Set back and enjoy the wonderful bounties that these long summer days have to offer.
Remember what you cook is not nearly as important as who you cook it with.