The Tomato Alternative If You Don't Like The T In BLT

Even though they can be a juicy and fresh addition to sandwiches, tomatoes aren't everyone's cup of tea. Maybe you hate the way they taste, their texture, or are craving a BLT and find yourself lacking that one (supposedly) key ingredient. The T in BLT is a staple to the creation of the classic sandwich, but maybe it's time to switch things up and look for an alternative.

Tomatoes lend their flavor, texture, and color to the sandwich, so when looking for another option, it's important to pick something that can live up to all of the above. If you want to mimic the freshness of a tomato, go for pome fruits like apples, pears, or even quinces. The crispiness of these fruits cuts through the fat and saltiness of the bacon, much like a tomato will. All of these options can add that contrast of color that a classic BLT gets from a tomato.

While the B in a BLT is likely somewhat crunchy (depending on how well-done you like bacon), apples or pears will bring another layer of snap and bite that enhances the multidimensionality of the sandwich. Generally, any kind of apple or pear can work well, but you can experiment with different varieties to see their impact on the overall flavor of the dish. For example, a Granny Smith apple will add a tartness to the sandwich, while the sweet Honeycrisp apple or Comice pear will take the sandwich in a different direction.

Other great additions for a tomato-free BLT

If you want to take it further with your BLT ingredient swaps and flavor additions, there are plenty of ways to kick the simple sandwich up a notch. Many of the best BLT sandwiches incorporate some kind of condiment, most often mayonnaise. If you're not a huge fan of mayo, you could exchange it for a salad dressing — think balsamic or Italian. The herbs and smoothness of a creamy Italian dressing pair well with the crisp lettuce and fatty bacon.

Although a BLT doesn't typically include cheese, a slice or two could be another good way to switch things up a little (and would pair deliciously with pome fruits in place of tomato). Cheddar is always a tasty choice, but there are more adventurous options as well. A spicy pimento cheese adds notes of heat, and blue cheese provides a smooth and crumbly texture contrast to the crunchy bacon and lettuce. If you like a grilled cheese sandwich, you could try pressing your BLT on a griddle or panini press with any (or all) of these cheesy additions.

When you're looking to add a little more protein to your BLT — besides the bacon, of course — there are plenty of choices to explore as well. One that'll add a temperature contrast is a fried egg, fresh out of the pan. Smoked salmon, for example, would bring a salty fish flavor alongside a woodiness that matches up well with similar notes in smoky bacon.