A Riff On A BLT


“Perhaps home is not a place but some irrevocable condition.” – James Baldwin, Giovanni’s Room

We spent the weekend unpacking boxes. We took out the essentials for sleeping and eating and set up the kitchen. We reassembled the kids rooms so they felt like the rooms they slept in for the last 6 years. We spent the weekend desperately trying to feel at ease in a place that does not feel like home.

As I write this post I struggle to understand why leaving our house of 6 years is so hard. I passed it on purpose during my run the other day and almost burst into tears. What is a home really? If a home is really just the people I will be ok, right?


I think I started a home when I married Bubba almost 7 years ago. Our home grew when we had Charlotte and 3 years later Graham. I think home is a group of people seeking comfort in each other. The house, the walls shelter us. The stuff that we think we need to make a house a home add to our daily comfort or drive us insane.



After an exhausting weekend of unpacking and adjusting to our new surroundings, I had to make an easy and comforting dinner. A BLT screams comfort to us so I made one with a few twists.

I picked up a loaf of fresh sour dough bread from our local bread shop, Mamadou’s Artisan Bakery. (www.mamadousartisanbakery.com) I like their sourdough because the flavor is not overwhelming. I am not a fan of strong sourdough flavor. I grabbed a locally grown tomato, some bacon, blue cheese, avocado, Romain lettuce, roast turkey and Stonewall Kitchen’s Fig and Ginger Jam. I splurged on the jam but I figure I can use it for marinades as well. The jam adds a nice sweetness which works great the saltiness of the bacon. The turkey is not necessary here but it does work well with the rest of the ingredients. The avocado gives a nice creamy texture. and the blue cheese highlights the sweetness of the jam and saltiness of the bacon. I threw the meal together in no time. We enjoyed the blts with a icy cold beers. Yum! The kids had milk of course.

BLT with Blue Cheese, Avocado and  Fig+ Ginger Jam

Inspired by Two Peas and Their Pod


1 loaf of fresh sourdough bread

1 tomato, thinly sliced

Romaine lettuce, washed and dried

1 avocado, pitted and sliced

crumbled blue cheese

1 lb bacon

1/4-1/2 lb of roast turkey depending on how much you want to use on the sandwiches (optional)

1 jar of Stonewall Kitchen’s Fig+ Ginger Jam


Cook bacon on medium heat until it reaches desired crispness and drain on a plate covered with a paper towel. To assemble the sandwiches spread a tablespoon of jam on each piece of sliced sourdough bread. Add bacon, lettuce, tomato, avocado and a couple of slices of roast turkey if using. Sprinkle with a good amount of crumbled blue cheese. Slice in half and enjoy!

Mozzarella, Roasted Red Pepper + Basil Sandwiches with Ramp Pepitas Pesto

“Spring drew on . . . and a greenness grew over those brown [garden] beds, which, freshening daily, suggested the thought that Hope traversed them at night, and left each morning brighter traces of her steps.”  Charlotte Bronte,  Jane Eyre

I have lived in Massachusetts my whole life and every year I am surprised by how long it takes for spring to return. The winters here are hard and long. I constantly remind myself in the dead of winter that spring will come, it must. One day it does. One ordinary day I look up and I all see is green leaves and bursting flowers. I notice the sun is still up after I put my children to bed. I feel lighter and somehow stronger.

Our food cravings change as the seasons change. Bubba is no longer requesting chicken and white bean stew or pork ragu with fettuccine. For the past two weeks he has requested a mozzarella, roasted red pepper and basil sandwich. This is our go to meal on warm spring and summer nights when we need something simple and fresh. When tomatoes are in season I add them as well. Typically I make the sandwich with a little extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar but I wanted to incorporate ramps after I read this recipe http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Seared-Salmon-with-Linguine-and-Ramp-Pesto in Bon Appetit.  This was my first time cooking with ramps. I went to our local Whole Foods and grabbed a bunch. They are so pretty and they scream spring!


I adapted the recipe by using pepitas (pumpkin seeds) instead of Marcona almonds because my son has a nut allergy. Also, I added a squeeze of fresh lemon juice for brightness.

Here is the recipe for the pesto and the sandwich assembly. This makes for a great lunch or dinner.

Ramp Pepitas Pesto

Adapted from Bon Appetit’s Ramp Pesto


 2 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup olive oil, divided

2/3 cup thinly sliced trimmed ramp bulbs and slender stems

1 cup freshly grated Asiago cheese

1/3 cup pepitas

2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon

a squeeze of fresh lemon juice


Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add 2/3 cup ramp bulbs and stems to skillet and sauté just until soft but not brown, for about 5 minutes. (Reduce heat if necessary to prevent browning) Transfer sautéed ramps to food processor. Do not clean skillet. Add ramps, cheese, pepitas, and tarragon to processor and process until finely chopped. With machine still running, slowly add 1/2 cup oil and puree until almost smooth.
Transfer pesto to bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

**Can be made 1 day ahead; cover and chill.**

Mozzarella, Roasted Red Pepper and Basil Sandwich with Ramp Pepitas Pesto



1 French Baguette

Fresh Mozzarella


Roasted Red Pepper (1 large red pepper or 1 large jar of store-bought roasted red peppers, drained)

Sea Salt and Fresh Ground Black Pepper

Ramp Pepitas Pesto


Roast a red pepper over the burner of a gas stove or a grill turning it constantly. You could also broil it on high for several minutes turning it every so often. Once the pepper is completely charred on the outside place it in a bowl and cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. This will make it easier to remove the skin. Once the pepper has cooled a bit, peel off the skin and dice the pepper. Place the diced pepper in a bowl with a bit of balsamic vinegar and sea salt. Set aside. (If you don’t want to roast a red pepper, buy a jar of roasted red pepper. Drain and add to sandwich.

Slice a fresh French baguette in half, spread a couple of tablespoons of pesto on the bread. Add several basil leaves and a few slices of mozzarella. Lastly, add roasted red peppers and season to taste with sea salt and fresh ground black pepper.