Caramelized Applewood-Smoked Bacon B.L.T.s

Marc Collins

Circa 1886 Restaurant at Wentworth Mansion, Charleston, SC

Sweet, crispy, caramelized bacon and a fragrant basil mayonnaise take this bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich to a whole new level.


  • 6 slices applewood-smoked bacon
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 8 sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 sprigs thyme, leaves picked
  • 6 basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 4 teaspoons blood orange vinegar
  • 3 leaves iceberg lettuce, cut into 12 squares to fit the bread
  • 4 slices Pullman loaf bread, crusts removed


Preheat oven to 385ºF.

Dredge the bacon slices in the sugar. Shake off excess sugar and place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake until bacon is golden brown and sugar has caramelized, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove bacon immediately from the baking sheet and place on a wire rack to cool. Cut each bacon strip into four equal pieces. Set aside.

Pour boiling water over sun-dried tomatoes and let steep until soft, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain well, pat tomatoes dry with a paper towel, and dice. Combine the tomatoes, onion powder, garlic powder, and salt in a small bowl. Add 3 tablespoons olive oil and thyme leaves and stir to combine. Set aside.

Place basil, mayonnaise, and vinegar in a blender or food processor and blend until mixture turns a vibrant green color. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Slice the bread into four equal squares and place on a baking sheet. Drizzle with remaining olive oil and bake until lightly toasted, about 5 minutes.

To assemble the B.L.T.s, spoon approximately 1 teaspoon of the basil mayonnaise onto each bread square. Top this with 3 pieces of lettuce and about a tablespoon of the sun-dried tomato mixture. Finish with 3 bacon slices and top with another bread slice. Use a toothpick to hold the mini-sandwiches together.


4 servings