It's been 6 months since I've been back from Spain but I'm still thinking about the trip. Spending days wandering around the neighborhoods and discovering new dishes is pretty much how I want to spend the rest of my days. Besides the amazing seafood, I was blown away by the sandwiches. I've already recreated a tuna nicoise sandwich I've had in Madrid so today I'm concentrating on a meat sandwich. The original version had jamon but let's be real, I won't be able to find any jamon of the same quality in California. So, we're going with the next best thing, bacon! This bacon tomato sandwich with apple date jam, arugula, roasted peppers, and melty mozzarella is how lunch should always be. Delicious on every level.
Bacon Tomato Sandwich with Apple Date Jam
Apple date jam
- 1 cup apples peeled, chopped
- ½ cup dates pitted
- ½ cup water
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1 lb bacon
- 4 ounces fresh mozzarella sliced
- 2 tomatoes sliced
- 2 cups arugula
- ⅓ cup roasted red bell peppers sliced
- 4 loaves crusty bread
- Make the apple date jam. Combine 1 cup chopped apples with ½ cup dates, ½ cup water, and ¼ cup maple syrup in a medium saucepot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover, and reduce to low. Continue to simmer for 10 minutes or until the apples and dates have softened. Remove from heat and blend until smooth. Let cool.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place a wire rack on top and lay the bacon in a single layer. Bake for 15 minutes or until crispy.
- Assemble the sandwiches. Spread the apple date jam on the bottom bun and top with arugula, tomato, bacon, mozzarella, and roasted red bell peppers. Serve.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
What makes this bacon sandwich so different from all the other bacon sandwiches is the apple date jam. I took the basic idea of a BLT and completely transformed it to create this beauty. We still have salty bacon with the fresh juicy tomato but I elevated it to add a sweet jam, bitter arugula, creamy mozzarella, and smoky peppers. It all works wonderfully.
To make the apple date jam, all you need are four ingredients: apples, dates, maple syrup, and water. You can use any type of crisp apple ideal for cooking including granny smith apples, pink lady smith, braeburn, and honeycrisp. For the dates, I used medjool pitted dates as well. Simmer the apples with the remaining ingredients until the fruits have softened and blend everything together. You can also prepare the jam several days in advance.
While the jam is cooling, prepare the remaining sandwich toppings. I like to bake my bacon until crispy but you can use the stovetop instead. One pound may seem like a lot but you need the salty bacon to offset the sweet jam. Roast some bell peppers or use the jarred ones if more convenient. IIf you like your mozzarella a little melted like I do, top the bacon with the cheese and pop it in the oven for 2-3 minutes.
Now it's time to assemble. Grab some crusty bread and spread the apple date jam on the bottom bun. Top the jam with arugula, thick slices of tomato, plenty of bacon, fresh mozzarella, and roasted red pepper.
This bacon tomato sandwich with apple date jam really has it all. It hits all of the flavor notes, creating one cohesive and overall just really delicious sandwich. Thank you, Spain for the inspiration!
For more sandwich inspiration check out this balsamic braised beef waffle sandwich!