These BLTs are super not just because of the ingredients-- Fatted Calf bacon, heirloom tomatoes, and wild arugula-- but because the olive bread is fried in bacon fat, and gets all toasty and crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. This sandwich was really unspeakably delicious. The watermelon salad is a nice bright counterpart to the rich sandwich. This would make a great brunch-- the salad's easy to make a lot of, and you can just set out the sandwich ingredients for people to make them themselves. We made open-faced sandwiches to get the most stuff-to-bread ratio but you can arrange yours however you want.
You'll need (4 servings):
1 long loaf olive bread or baguette, cut into four 6-inch pieces, then sliced lengthwise
8-16 slices thick cut bacon
3-4 heirloom tomatoes, sliced
2 handfuls wild arugula (the tiny leafy kind)
for the aioli:
1 egg yolk
juice from 1/2 lemon
1 garlic clove
1/4c canola oil
Place bacon in a cold cast iron skillet and gently heat to medium. Cook, turning often to cook evenly. You'll probably have to do this in batches. You can drain the bacon grease but don't drain the fat from the last batch, or save the grease in a glass jar.
In the meantime, make the aioli. Beat egg yolk with lemon juice, pressed garlic, salt and mustard. Whisk in oil very slowly until you achieve a mayonnaise-like consistency.
When the bacon's done, drain it on paper towels. Raise the heat and fry the bread in the bacon fat, cut side down, until golden; flip and fry a bit on the other side too.
Stack ingredients on the bread in any way you'd like, but if you're making open-faced sandwiches, don't put the arugula on top or it will fall off.
This may sound weird but it's a really good combination. Watermelon and feta is a common pairing in Israel; it's tasty and refreshing. We used a yellow watermelon, which was beautiful and unusual. Just cut up a watermelon into cubes and toss it with crumbled feta and chopped mint. Leftovers will last in the fridge for a day or two.
Figs with Cheese
We were supposed to caramelize them but couldn't handle it after eating all that bacon, so we just ate them halved with a bit of mild, milky cheese.