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In the kitchen with Noah Stephens: The Vert Kitchen BLT

In this week's Chef and Tell interview, Noah Stephens, exec chef/owner of Vert Kitchen, talks about the motivation behind his sandwiches, all of which are inspired by his travels around the world. I especially love Vert's BLT, sandwiched with bacon, oven-roasted tomatoes, lashes of lemon mayonnaise and bibb lettuce. "There's this great cafe in Amsterdam that serves bacon and fried eggs over toast that's topped with salad greens, and I loved how it came out hot and how the bacon grease acted as the dressing, says Stephens, who shares his own BLT recipe here. "In order for this BLT to be great," he warns, "it's got to have freshly cooked, thick bacon fresh out of the pan."

Vert Kitchen's BLT

4 strips thick-cut bacon, cooked 3 large leaves bibb lettuce 4 roasted tomato slices (method follows) 2 slices fresh mozzarella 2 tablespoons lemon mayonnaise (recipe follows) 2 slices of levain bread

Lemon mayonnaise

To make the lemon mayonnaise, combine 1 egg yolk, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, a splash of white wine vinegar, and a pinch of salt and sugar in a bowl. Gently mix and pour into a blender. Slowly add 1 cup of light olive oil and the juice of half a lemon and blend.

Oven-roasted tomatoes

3 ripe tomatoes, any variety, sliced 5 garlic cloves, peeled 1-inch piece ginger, thinly sliced 2 tablespoons olive oil Salt and freshly ground pepper 1/2 teaspoon sugar

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1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. 2. Layer the tomato slices on a line sheet tray, and drizzle tomatoes with olive oil. 3. Sprinkle the tomatoes with salt, pepper and sugar, and scatter the garlic and ginger on top. 3. Roast for 1 hour.

Assembly

Toast bread, and spread each slice with 1 tablespoon of the lemon mayonnaise. Place the bacon down first and then layer with mozzarella slices, roasted tomatoes and bibb lettuce. Add a twist of cracked black pepper over the too of each; close the sandwich; cut in half; and serve warm.

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