You guys. So good.
I’m super-excited, because, after a long dry spell with very little cooking inspiration, we have just started up with a new CSA. This is how I always used to cook — get the fresh, in-season, local veggies, and go from there. Waste not, want not (especially for dinner inspiration).
Then we had a new baby. And we decided to cancel our CSA for a bit, since we knew we wouldn’t be cooking that much for the early weeks, and well… we’ve been planning dinner in a less organic, more what-can-we-make-happen-in-the-next-few-minutes-before-meltdowns-occur sort of way for a while now. Yeah.
But we’re back in the groove! Last week was out first delivery from Farmhouse Delivery, which is kind of a local aggregate CSA for the Austin area. I love it already. In our first box, we got sweet corn on the cob, avocados, limes, giant slicing tomatoes and a beautiful head of butter lettuce, roots and all.
I also sprung for a weekly staples package, complete with organic, low-temp pasteurized milk from Mill King, fresh-baked multigrain bread and local free range eggs. Yes yes yes. Back.
We made a mixed grill with the corn and some tomatoes and peppers from our garden this weekend for dinner, served alongside a salad with red quinoa, feta, kalamata olives, red onions and some of that avocado, cubed. It was good stuff.
And, well, with such beautiful lettuce and tomatoes, I could think of only one thing: BLTs.
I am, of course, a vegetarian. But I live in a mixed household, and the omnivorous members of the family enjoy bacon. Naturally. Well, I remembered a staple from my childhood that I hadn’t had in a while — fried provolone. Yep, the cheese. If you fry deli slices of provolone on the stovetop, they bubble up, brown and become crispy, just like bacon, and they slide right out of the pan after you cool them slightly, with no need to add oil. Fried provolone is a fabulous substitute for bacon in a sandwich, and it did just the trick here. Plus I couldn’t resist adding some of that delicious avocado, because, let’s face it, just about everything is made better with a few slices of avocado. So, rather than a veggie BLT, perhaps we should call this sandwich a PLAT — provolone, lettuce, avocado and tomato.
I think sandwich recipes are kind of silly, since you basically just throw everything together according to your own taste, but here’s a good starting point for you, because this sandwich is just too delicious not to share!
- 2 slices provolone cheese
- 2 slices sandwich bread (preferably freshly-made sourdough)
- salt and pepper
- butter lettuce leaves, rinsed and dried with paper towels
- 1 large tomato, sliced
- 1 avocado, pitted and sliced
- Put a nonstick griddle or frying pan over medium high heat and add the cheese slices in a single layer. Allow to fry, turning the pan to ensure even heating as necessary, until bubbly and golden brown on bottom. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside to cool. Once cool enough to handle, remove to a plate lined with paper towels to drain and then tear into strips or large pieces.
- Meanwhile, toast the bread and slather one side with mayo. Season with salt and pepper.
- Cover the bread with lettuce leaves, and layer the tomato slices on top, using as many of each as suits your taste. Top with the provolone, and add avocado slices.
- Assemble, cut in half and chow down!