A couple of weeks ago, Volkswagen approached me with the following idea: borrow a VW for a couple of days, drive around somewhere cool, and track the trip using their new SmileDrive app. Since Chris and I are in the market for a new car, and Chris loves playing with new apps, we figured what the hell. Our schedule has been tight as a bug’s butt, so we opted to do a farmer’s market tour around Austin for a day. It was a ton of fun. We talked to farmers and I learned about some new vegetables (Armenian cucumbers, anyone?) and found these crazy-weird-but-good pickled blueberries by Confituras as well as some goat’s milk ricotta, some super fresh beets, elephant garlic, and some sorrel — something I’d heard of but never eaten.
Anyway, very quickly the challenge turned to what kinda food am I gonna make with this? I was inspired by a recipe I heard of recently: a BLT with beets added. Yum. I love both of those things, so, duh, yeah, Im’ma eat that. When I was vegetarian, something I’d often cook was beets fried with potatoes: “Beets and potatoes” I called it. Pretty clever. This is kind of like that, but with bread instead of potatoes and bacon instead of vegetarian. You could definitely omit the bacon, though, and it would still be outstanding. The garlic mayo spread really does nice things here and feel free to swap out the fresh basil for dill or tarragon or even cilantro. They would all be yum.
Beet BLT Sandwich
- Cook Time: 10 mins
- Total Time: 10 mins
- Yield: 2
- 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 large clove garlic
- pinch of salt
- 2-3 leaves fresh basil
- 4 slices thick bread
- 4 slices bacon
- 1 large beet
- 1 thin-skinned cucumber, sliced 1/4″ thick
- small bunch fresh sorrel (or another green, like spinach)
- olive oil
- Make the spread:
- Put mayo in a small bowl.
- Mince garlic and add a pinch of salt to it on the cutting board. Use the flat side of your knife to smear the salt into the garlic several times, making a paste. Add garlic paste to mayo.
- Chiffonade the basil and add that, too. Set aside.
- Cook the bacon slowly over a medium heat until crispy, turning occasionally so that it cooks evenly and the fat renders out.
- Slice beets about 1/3″ thick (no need to peel) and heat a teaspoon of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
- Cook beets 2 minutes on one side, then turn and cover the pan. Cook another 2 minutes or until the beets are toasty and tender when you poke with a fork. Salt them and set aside.
- Spread the bread with your garlic mayo, top with bacon, cucumber, and fried beets.
- Slap another slice of bread on top and serve!