While I love the idea of a BLT (the smoky, salty, sweet flavor combo is very alluring), I actually have no intention of eating one. Here’s what I eat instead: the MBT, toasted whole-grain bread spread thickly with richly flavored miso-tahini paté, over which I lay basil leaves topped with thin slices of perfectly ripe tomato sprinkled with a little salt and pepper and a tiny drizzle of olive oil. Perfection! In the photo, I’ve added grated carrots and cucumber slices, but in some ways I like the simplicity of the basic sandwich even better. More detailed description of the sandwich and my recipe for miso-tahini paté (which you can make in about 15 minutes) are after the jump…
THE MBT SANDWICH
You will need: very good quality whole grain bread (dense, German-style is perfect), a ripe, juicy tomato, fresh basil leaves, olive oil, salt and pepper and mis0-tahini paté (see recipe below).
Toast the bread. Spread a generous layer of the paté on the toast. Top the paté with a layer of basil leaves. Top the leaves with a thin slice or two of tomato. Sprinkle a little bit of salt, pepper and olive oil on the tomato. Enjoy. Add more texture and nutrition by layering shredded carrot and sliced cucumber between the basil and the tomato.
Made thicker this is an addictive spread for bread or crackers, thinned it becomes an equally delicious and versatile sauce for grains or vegetables.
1 1/2 cups tahini (lightly roasted, ground sesame seed paste)
2-3 tablespoons barley miso, or to taste (you can use most any miso, but if you use a light, sweet variety, you may need to add a little soy sauce to deepen the flavor. Read about miso here.)
2 teaspoons dried, mixed Italian herbs or French herbs de Provence
1 or 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tablespoon fresh parsley or green onions, minced (optional)
Stirring constantly, roast tahini, garlic and herbs in a cast iron or other thick-bottomed pan over medium heat until the tahini smells fragrant and slightly browns on the bottom, about five minutes (watch carefully, this can burn!). Combine roasted tahini and remaining ingredients in a food processor and puree, adding 1/2 cup water or more as needed to create a smooth, creamy consistency. If you intend to use this as a sauce, thin with additional water and check seasoning as you may need to add a little more miso or soy sauce. To use as a spread, serve at room temperature or slightly chilled. For sauce, reheat gently at low heat. Too high a heat may cause the sauce to separate. Refrigerated, this will keep about a week. Yields 2 cups.