BLT Tea Sandwiches with Sun-Dried Tomato Mayonnaise

Holiday 2010
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food and drink

BY: Marilyn Bentz-Crowley

Purchase a fresh bag of sun-dried tomatoes and use it to perk up ordinary mayonnaise. Sun-dried tomatoes stored in an airtight container in the freezer retain their red colour and lively taste for months.

4 sun-dried tomatoes
1/4 tsp (1 mL) freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup (175 mL) mayonnaise, preferably olive oil variety
9 to 12 slices thickly sliced bacon, preferably artisan, about 1 lb (500 g)
1 baguette, preferably whole-grain
2 large vine-ripened tomatoes
11/2 to 2 cups (375 to 500 mL) lightly packed baby lettuce mixture
24 very short bamboo skewers or decorative toothpicks (optional)

1 Soak leathery tomatoes for 5 minutes in boiling water to cover. Drain; then mince. Stir with black pepper into mayonnaise. Cover and refrigerate until needed. (Mayonnaise keeps well for several days.)

2 Cook bacon as you prefer or use this chefs’ technique. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a large baking sheet with sides with foil. Lay bacon slices flat on tray. Bake 15 minutes; drain fat from pan. Turn slices; continue baking for another 10 to 15 minutes or until nicely browned and to your liking. Drain on paper towels. (If making ahead, cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze. Briefly heat between paper towels in microwave to restore freshly cooked taste.)

3 When ready to serve, cut baguette slightly on the diagonal into 24 slices each about 1/2-inch (1-cm) thick. Core and cut tomatoes in half down centre from top to bottom; lay flat and thinly slice across. Cut bacon slices in half or thirds depending on size.

4 To assemble sandwiches, spread 1 side of each slice with mayonnaise. Top with some lettuce, lightly pressing into mayonnaise. Top with a slice of tomato; add a dab of mayonnaise on top. Finally place bacon on top. Serve right away or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. (If transporting sandwiches, spike a skewer into each sandwich to keep toppings in place.)

Makes 24 tea sandwiches