BLT with Saffron Aïoli
Don’t worry — that’s not mustard in the picture. That would be sacrilege. It’s a saffron aïoli with toasted garlic and ginger, and the characteristic color comes from saffron. In other words, it’s fancy mayo. There will definitely be some leftover (there isn’t really a way to make less, unless you don’t mind going to the trouble of splitting an egg evenly; ratios are ratios after all), but it shouldn’t be hard to think of ways to use up the rest. Using only extra-virgin olive oil would make for a bitter mayo, so it's toned down with an equal measure of canola oil.
Make this for the special someone in your life, and I guarantee you, the fireworks will happen — or at the very least, the house will smell like bacon and toasted garlic. Which is never a bad thing.
- 6 slices thick-cut applewood-smoked bacon
- One 9-inch garlic sandwich roll, such as Trader Joe’s garlic sfilatino, halved lengthwise
- 2/3 cup canola oil
- 5 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
- 1 tablespoon ginger, minced
- 1 egg
- 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Pinch of saffron
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 beefsteak tomato, sliced into ¼-inch-thick slices
- 5 leaves red oak lettuce
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Cook the bacon according to Mr. Arthur Bovino’s directions. Meanwhile, place the roll on an ovenproof plate and toast in the oven.
Heat about 2 tablespoons of the canola oil in a sauté pan over low heat. Cook the garlic and ginger until fragrant, and the garlic pieces are golden brown, about 5 minutes. Do not let the garlic burn. In a food processor, blend the egg until well combined. Mix the remaining canola oil with the olive oil in a bowl, and gradually stream in the oil while the machine is running. Add the cooked garlic and ginger together with the reserved oil as well as the saffron. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and blend until well combined.
Remove the roll from the oven and generously slather both sides of the roll with the aïoli. Arrange the bacon on the bottom half, followed by the tomato, and finally the lettuce. Top with the other half of the roll, cut the sandwich in half, and serve.