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I made Martha Stewart's 'perfect BLT' sandwich and would never make the recipe without basil again

I made Martha Stewart's 'perfect BLT' sandwich and would never make the recipe without basil again

Martha Stewart is one of the most famous celebrity chefs in the business and has a recipe for just about anything - including BLTs.

Martha Stewart is one of the most famous celebrity chefs in the business and has a recipe for just about anything - including BLTs.
Martha Stewart has a recipe for a "perfect BLT." Jamie McCarthy/cislander/Getty Images

While scrolling through Stewart's website, I was immediately intrigued by her "perfect BLT" recipe. BLTs are usually pretty simple and call for only a few ingredients. What about Stewart's recipe set it apart from others I've tried, and what truly makes it "perfect"?

I decided to give it a try to see if Stewart's recipe would become my new go-to method.

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The first thing I noticed about Martha Stewart's BLT recipe was that it calls for homemade mayonnaise, which I've never made before.

The first thing I noticed about Martha Stewart's BLT recipe was that it calls for homemade mayonnaise, which I've never made before.
The ingredients for the homemade mayonnaise. Erin McDowell/Insider

For Martha Stewart's homemade mayo, you'll need one large egg yolk, one teaspoon of Dijon mustard, one teaspoon of fresh lemon juice, coarse salt, white pepper – I substituted in black pepper, as it's what I had — and a cup of lightly flavored oil.

Stewart's recipe called for grapeseed, sunflower, or safflower oil, but I used vegetable oil, which is also mild in flavor and already in my kitchen.

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The first step in making homemade mayo is mixing together the egg yolk, Dijon mustard, salt, pepper, and lemon juice.

The first step in making homemade mayo is mixing together the egg yolk, Dijon mustard, salt, pepper, and lemon juice.
I whisked my mayonnaise, but you can also use a blender. Erin McDowell/Insider

Then, you slowly – keyword, slowly – incorporate the oil. I found it was easy to control how much oil I was adding by mixing the ingredients by hand.

You really need to add the oil in drop by drop, or else your mayonnaise won't thicken. Then, when you're halfway through your oil, gently pour the rest of it into your bowl in a slow, steady stream while mixing.

Before long, I had something that resembled mayonnaise.

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My finished mayonnaise didn't exactly look like the store-bought Hellman's mayo I usually buy, but at least it was spreadable.

My finished mayonnaise didn't exactly look like the store-bought Hellman's mayo I usually buy, but at least it was spreadable.
My finished mayonnaise. Erin McDowell/Insider

I was proud that I was able to make something remotely close to mayonnaise on my own. I also made more than I expected to use in the sandwich.

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Next, I set about preparing my ingredients for the rest of the BLT.

Next, I set about preparing my ingredients for the rest of the BLT.
Martha Stewart's BLT ingredients. Erin McDowell/Insider

For Martha Stewart's "perfect BLT" sandwich, you'll need white sandwich bread, a vine-ripe tomato, two lettuce leaves, a slice of thick-cut bacon, basil, butter, salt, pepper, and your homemade mayonnaise.

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I chose Tuscan white bread, but you could opt for something simpler.

I chose Tuscan white bread, but you could opt for something simpler.
My sandwich bread. Erin McDowell/Insider

In the photo of Martha Stewart's BLT on her website, she appeared to use regular sliced sandwich bread you can find at any grocery store.

The first step in making my BLT was popping the bread in the toaster.

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The recipe calls for thick-cut bacon.

The recipe calls for thick-cut bacon.
The bacon I used in the BLT. Erin McDowell/Insider

I used Hatfield's extra thick-cut maple brown sugar bacon. I found that this slightly sweeter cut caramelizes nicely in the pan and adds a delicious element to savory dishes.

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The recipe only calls for one slice of bacon.

The recipe only calls for one slice of bacon.
The bacon frying in the pan. Erin McDowell/Insider

However, you could undoubtedly add more if you want a more filling lunch.

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I then prepared the other two elements of the BLT - the lettuce and tomato.

I then prepared the other two elements of the BLT - the lettuce and tomato.
The lettuce and sliced tomato. Erin McDowell/Insider

I washed and prepped two full romaine lettuce leaves and cut my vine ripe tomato into slices about a quarter-inch thick.

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Martha Stewart's recipe is interesting in that it calls for both butter and homemade mayonnaise.

Martha Stewart's recipe is interesting in that it calls for both butter and homemade mayonnaise.
The toasted bread slices spread with butter and mayonnaise. Erin McDowell/Insider

I've never added butter to a BLT sandwich before, so I was interested to see how it would taste.

I was also anxious to see how the homemade mayonnaise would fare. Out of curiosity, I tried a little on a spoon and found that while it didn't exactly taste like the mayo I was used to, it had a nice citrusy flavor from the lemon juice.

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Next, I topped the buttered side of my sandwich with lettuce and tomato.

Next, I topped the buttered side of my sandwich with lettuce and tomato.
Making the BLT sandwich. Erin McDowell/Insider

I followed Stewart's instructions exactly, placing the lettuce down first and then the slices of juicy tomato. Having the lettuce act as a base can prevent your bread from getting soggy from the tomatoes.

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Next, I added the basil. I've also never heard of basil being used in a BLT.

Next, I added the basil. I've also never heard of basil being used in a BLT.
Making the BLT sandwich. Erin McDowell/Insider

I wondered if this would add an Italian flavor to the BLT – as it turns out, I was spot on.

I then sprinkled a pinch of pepper and salt over the top.

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Lastly, I added my bacon right on top and closed her up.

Lastly, I added my bacon right on top and closed her up.
Making the BLT sandwich. Erin McDowell/Insider

It looked like the perfect amount and combination of ingredients.

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I always like to lightly press down on my sandwiches to prevent them from falling apart.

I always like to lightly press down on my sandwiches to prevent them from falling apart.
Making the BLT sandwich. Erin McDowell/Insider

The best part about this sandwich is that, although it's slightly out-of-the-box, you might have all the necessary ingredients on hand in your kitchen.

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Biting in, I was blown away.

Biting in, I was blown away.
My finished BLT sandwich. Erin McDowell/Insider

It didn't taste like any other BLT I've ever had, largely due to the homemade mayonnaise and basil. The ingredients tasted really fresh and light, despite it being a bacon-based sandwich.

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The basil cut through the savory flavors perfectly and added a nice spring freshness to the sandwich.

The basil cut through the savory flavors perfectly and added a nice spring freshness to the sandwich.
My finished BLT sandwich. Erin McDowell/Insider

The vine-ripe tomatoes were also perfectly sweet, juicy, and flavorful. Altogether, the sandwich tasted similar to an Italian Caprese salad, plus bacon.

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Martha Stewart's "perfect BLT" took a little extra effort with the homemade mayonnaise, but it was well worth it.

Martha Stewart's "perfect BLT" took a little extra effort with the homemade mayonnaise, but it was well worth it.
I really liked this recipe for Martha Stewart's "perfect BLT." Erin McDowell/Insider

It tasted special, not like a thrown-together BLT with your standard ingredients. I could tell that thought was put into getting the proportions exactly right, and it paid off.

The cooking and preparing process was a little longer than I would usually go for. After all, I wanted to get it exactly right.

However, by the time I polished off the sandwich and practically licked the plate clean, I couldn't disagree with Stewart — this truly is the perfect BLT sandwich.

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