A spinoff of the BLT, the PLT is a crispy pancetta sandwich chock full of crunchy lettuce, fresh tomatoes and crumbled gorgonzola. Built on a base of crispy garlic bread, this pancetta tomato sandwich is one part BLT and one part wedge salad. And best of all? It's a 30 minute meal or late night bite!
Whoever invented the sandwich deserves all the honors and accolades in the world. Truly, there is nothing like a really good sandwich for lunch, a late night snack or even breakfast (breakfast burritos are like a sandwich). And this crispy pancetta sandwich rivals any because what's better than a mashup of a wedge salad, a classic BLT and crispy garlic bread?
Maybe some Italian flavor?
The best BLT sandwich recipe starts with pancetta
This PLT (pancetta, lettuce, tomato) sandwich is built with some key ingredients:
- cheesy garlic bread
- Dijon dressed shredded Romaine
- crispy pancetta
- thick slices of fresh tomato
What is the difference between pancetta and bacon?
Typically called "Italian bacon", pancetta also comes from the pork belly but is unsmoked unlike bacon which is smoked.
How to keep pancetta from curling while cooking
- Lay a sheet pan with parchment paper
- Space pieces of pancetta on prepped sheet pan and cover with another piece of parchment paper [left]
- Cover the parchment paper with another sheet pan of the same size [center].
- Bake in preheated oven until crispy [right].
Best bread for a wedge sandwich or BLT
So many good options but ciabatta is a great choice of bread for a blt especially if you're making it into garlic bread first.
Other good breads for blt sandwiches are:
- Italian bread
- sliced French loaf
Step by step instructions
- Prepare ciabatta garlic bread by slicing the roll in half and spread on mixed garlic paste spread. Toast in the oven until crispy [left].
- Shred romaine lettuce and toss with olive oil, red wine vinegar and Dijon mustard. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside [center].
- Layer sandwich in the following order:
- garlic bread half
- Romaine salad mix
- crumbled gorzonzola
- crispy, cooked pancetta
- thickly sliced tomato
- second garlic bread half
Do you have to cook pancetta?
Think of pancetta like you do bacon, which is typically cooked.
What else can I add to the sandwich?
Get creative! Avocado would be amazing as would be some caramelized onions.
Tips for the best PLT sandwich
- Don't skip the salad dressing step because that adds so much tangy flavor!
- If you're not a gorgonzola cheese fan, other options are thickly, shredded parmesan, romano or asiago or even some crumbled feta.
- Go to your favorite farm stand for a beautiful juicy garden tomato.
- Only assemble as many sandwiches as you need per person. This will keep your pancetta sandwich crispy and fresh!
Make ahead and storage tips
Make ahead suggestions
- Toss the romaine salad mix and refrigerate for up to 3 hours.
- Crisp up the pancetta up to 2 hours ahead and remove to paper towels to drain.
You can wrap leftover sandwiches in parchment paper and then plastic wrap.
Crispy Pancetta Sandwich
- parchment paper
- 4 ciabatta rolls, split in half
- 2 garden tomatoes, firm and cored
For the Dijon Romaine Mix
- 2 cups shredded Romaine lettuce
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- salt and pepper , to taste
- ¼ cup crumbled gorgonzola
- 8 slices pancetta, more as desired
For garlic bread
- 3 cloves garlic, finely minced; ok to use a garlic press
- ¼ cup butter, softened
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese, fresh grated
- ¼ teaspoon oregano
- ⅕ teaspoon kosher salt
- crushed red pepper, optional
- fresh parsley, optional garnish
- Preheat oven to 400°.
For Romaine Mix
- Shred romaine lettuce and toss with the olive oil and red wine vinegar. Add ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle in gorgonzola.2 cups shredded Romaine lettuce, 2 Tablespoons olive oil, 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar, ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard, salt and pepper, ¼ cup crumbled gorgonzola
- Lay sheet pan with parchment paper. Top with pancetta and another piece of parchment paper and cover with another sheet pan. Place the pancetta in the preheated oven for 20 minutes until crispy.8 slices pancetta
- Carefully remove the top sheet pan (the clean unused one) and place paper towels inside to drain the crispy pancetta on.
For garlic bread
- In a small bow, mix the softened butter with the minced garlic until a paste forms. Stir in the parmesan cheese, kosher salt and oregano and red pepper if using.3 cloves garlic, ¼ cup butter, ¼ cup parmesan cheese, ¼ teaspoon oregano, ⅕ teaspoon kosher salt, crushed red pepper
- Lay rolls open faced on a sheet pan and spread with garlic paste. Bake until crispy and toasted while the pancetta is baking.4 ciabatta rolls
Assemble the sandwich
- Slice tomatoes2 garden tomatoes
- On on ½ of a ciabatta roll layer:Romaine mixcrispy pancettasliced tomatoessecond half of ciabatta.
- Crisp up the pancetta up to 2 hours ahead. Leave at room temp or after completely cooled, wrap in paper towel and place in a ziploc bag.
- Mix up the garlic paste up to 1 week ahead.
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