I know it sounds crazy, but seriously, this sandwich is the most delicious and suprising food twist I’ve tried in a long time, and when you think about it, it kind of makes sense. Tomatoes are a red fruit. Watermelon are red fruit. You can kind of make the exchange without too much of a stretch. Right?
Okay, I know it may seem odd, but in the South, they’ve been salting watermelon for years at picnics and barbecues. And what a more delicious “salt” to use than crispy bacon? The peppered bacon really makes this sandwich pop along with interplay of the sweet juicy watermelon. Then the spicy watercress in place of traditional lettuce, and the zip from raw garlic in the mayo really give additional zest. The creamy avocado just adds that last bit of desired unctuousness against an altogether refreshing and great summer sandwich.
This is how it happened. You get a watermelon. You slice it up. It’s delicious, but then you have the other huge half and unless you have a party or big barbecue at your house, the rest often spoils before you get to it.
This sandwich is a great and unexpected way to use that watermelon that will astound your family and friends. Plus, if you use my technique of slicing it thin and then cutting out rounds with a upturned glass or biscuit cutter, no one will be the wiser until they’ve already sunk their teeth into it’s juicy wonders.
It’s also really fun to turn this whole sandwich into a salad. You can slice all the ingredients into bit sized pieces and use a 1/4 cup of your mayo with an additional 1/4 c of lemon juice and a few tablespoons of olive oil with some salt and pepper to taste for another twist on a savory watermelon recipe.
The basil mayo is also great to use on all your summer sandwiches. You can make a big batch of it and it’ll keep in the fridge for about two weeks. Just give it a good stir before you use it as the basil releases it’s natural juices.
But of course the big surprise here is the watermelon. It’s a fruit that we often only think of in sweet preparations, but this sandwich makes it the star with all of the other complementary flavors.
BLW – Bacon, Lettuce and Watermelon Sandwich with Basil Mayonnaise.
1 ciabatta or similar sandwich roll
3 slices peppered bacon
1 slice of watermelon, approximately 1/2 in. thick (to fit bread)
1/4 cup watercress (washed and dried)
1/4 avocado, sliced
2 T basil mayo (recipe follows)
1 clove garlic
- Slice sandwich roll in half and toast till slightly browned while keeping a soft center. When bread is toasted rub the toasted cut side with your clove of garlic, infusing the roll with the aroma of garlic.
- Slice each piece of bacon in half and prepare to desired crispness.
- Prepare watermelon by slicing into 1/2 in. thick slices and trimming edges so that your slices will fit your sandwich rolls.
- Note: I like to use a glass turned upside down to cut out round shapes from the watermelon to mimic the look and shape of a tomato. (see picture)
- Assemble sandwich by first spreading a generous tablespoon of basil mayo on each side of your toasted roll and then putting down a bed of watercress followed by your slices of avocado. This triple layer will help stop your roll from getting soggy from the juicy watermelon that follows.
- After your slice of watermelon, top it off with your slices of bacon and another roll half smeared with your basil mayo.
- Enjoy the surprising deliciousness.
Basil Mayo (makes 1 1/4 cup)
1 c mayonnaise (best possible quality)
1/2 c basil (shredded)
1 clove garlic, finely minced or grated
2 T lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
- Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and allow it to sit for at least an hour to allow flavors to marry.