Have you ever packed a lunch that you actively look forward to eating? I have. At some point. A long time ago. These days, because of my over-flowing planner, lunchtime has changed for the worse. Last week, when I got to the grocery-store checkout line, my cart was full of frozen microwave meals and coffee.
"Oh the shame," I thought. "I hope nobody here knows I'm a food blogger."
See, I'm a food blogger because I adore finding exciting new combinations, or twists on comfortable stand-bys, and sharing them with the world. I love taking pictures of beautiful textures and especially enjoy savoring the end results. And, I'm a food blogger because I love food. But here's the thing. I'm also a graduate student. We graduate students have a passionate love affair going on with caffeine, and sometimes our research, but don't have time for extravagant or expensive lunches (or dinners, or breakfasts).
My week of frozen lunches had left me in identity-crisis mode. There is only so much frozen marinara sauce a girl can eat. Then, I remembered the avocado BLT. This is one enchanting sandwich. I first had it when my friend Andrew, an inventive cook, brought us a picnic lunch on the beach. Since it was summertime in NYC, my friends and I followed these up with some Mister Softee ice cream cones and a dip in the ocean. Here in Wisconsin, in February, I followed this sandwich up with...homework. And you know what? That avocado BLT still managed to provide me with a refreshing break from reality.
I don't know about you, but I can get lost in the texture of an avocado. Or the salty crunch of a perfect piece of bacon, accompanied by warm, garlic toast. Since I'm assuming some of you out there might also have limited time and a limited tolerance for frozen meals, I wanted to share this recipe with you. This sandwich is the perfect break in an overcrowded day, and having it packed away in your bag, waiting for lunchtime is...well, perfection.
Avocado BLT Sandwiches
By Alexandra Rogers
4-6 strips bacon
1/2 cup fresh spinach leaves
1 small-medium tomato, sliced
1 avocado, sliced
1 clove of garlic, sliced in half
4 slices of bread*
a tiny bit of butter or mayonnaise (enough to spread very lightly over the bread
*I used the delicious homemade bread in my freezer. Gotta love having a bread-baker for a boyfriend
Line a sided baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place bacon strips on the aluminum foil, giving each its own space, and put in a cold oven. Set oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for about 25 minutes or until bacon is crispy but not burnt. When bacon is done, use paper towels to soak up grease on bacon.
Toast bread slices. Rub the cut side of the garlic clove on one side of each piece of bread. (This is easy if you spear half of the garlic clove with a fork--cut side exposed. Do not let the tongs go all the way through the garlic clove and use the fork to glide garlic over toasted bread.) The garlic bread sides will be the inside of the sandwich.
Lightly spread the insides of the sandwich with butter or mayonnaise (your choice), and cover one slice of toast with fresh spinach leaves. Layer 1-2 tomato slices on top of the spinach. Top the tomato slices with 2-3 strips of bacon, and top the bacon with 2-3 slices of avocado. Top it all off with your second slice of bread, cut in half and serve! (I know these proportions are a little up in the air, but really these all depend on what you like, so use what looks good.) Makes 2 sandwiches.