This sandwich is so delicious it makes even gluten-free bread seem divine. Inspired by the movie Spanglish—worth seeing for a couple of killer food scenes, thanks to consulting chef Thomas Keller—it’s basically just a glorified BLT.
But I love glorified, especially when the glory is via a fried egg, and melted cheese, and harissa, and if you’re feeling particularly holy, a smear of lightly salted, smashed avocado…la la laaah! Glory all over the place.
Despite my rave about gluten-free bread, the best sandwiches are of course comprised of the best individual ingredients. They’re also about perfect timing so that the play of hot and cold, crunchy and creamy, tangy and salty, and sweet and rich all come together, in every single bite, and blow your mind a little bit.
(Wow. Can you tell that I’m writing this while on vacation? I’m relaxed and apparently full of adjectives…)
I’ve been making this sandwich for years but had strayed away from it since giving up gluten almost two years ago. Big thanks to my friend Molly Herrmann for making me a similar version, on gluten-free bread, and reminding me how very much I had missed it.
Fried Egg BLT with Harissa & Avocado
Makes 2 sandwiches
bacon (how many slices is up to you; I like two slices on my sandwich, while others in my household would prefer six or more…)
1/2 ripe avocado, pitted, removed from its skin, and smashed in a bowl with a pinch of salt
2 Tbsp. mayonnaise stirred together with 2 tsp. harissa
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 large organic eggs
4 slices of good bread (gluten-free if you must, but if not, choose thin slices of a rustic, chewy loaf)
Gruyere cheese, grated
ripe tomato, sliced (skip the tomatoes if they’re awful)
Cook the bacon to desired crispiness. I’m not a fan of microwaved bacon. It’s a million times better fried slowly in a skillet or baked on a rack in a 375-degree F oven. However you prepare it, when the bacon is done, keep it warm while you pull together the rest of the sandwich.
Toast the bread. Spread two slices of toast with harissa-mayo, then top with Gruyere. Spread the avocado mixture on the other two slices.
Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large nonstick skillet. Fry the eggs to desired doneness—I like them over-easy for this sandwich so there’s a bit of runny yolk to pull things together (as in put it completely over-the-top).
While you fry the eggs, run the two Gruyere-topped slices of toast under the broiler for a minute or two to melt the cheese.
To assemble the sandwich: Lay out all four pieces of toast. Top the cheese slices with lettuce, then tomato (add a little sprinkle of salt & pepper), then bacon, then fried egg. Press avocado toast slices on top. Serve!