Recipe courtesy of Bagelsaurus

BLT with Spicy Pepper Cream Cheese

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 4 hr 30 min
  • Active: 40 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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3 pounds plum tomatoes, quartered

3 ounces (1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon) olive oil

1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar 

1 tablespoon kosher salt 

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper 

Leaves from 3 sprigs fresh thyme

12 to 16 slices (about 1 pound) thick-cut bacon

4 bagels 

Spicy Pepper Cream Cheese, recipe follows

1 large head red or green leaf lettuce, leaves separated

Spicy Cream Cheese:

8 ounces cream cheese

1 small roasted poblano or green chile, drained and chopped (see Cook's Note)

1/4 cup pickled jalapeno peppers, chopped 

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt 

1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more to taste 


  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees F. Line 2 half-sheet trays with parchment paper.
  2. Toss tomatoes with olive oil, sugar, salt, pepper and thyme leaves in a large bowl. Spread on a lined half-sheet tray and slow-roast, stirring every hour, until little to no liquid remains and the tomatoes are shriveled and caramelized, about 3 hours 30 minutes. Set aside and raise oven temperature to 375 degrees F.
  3. Arrange bacon slices side-by-side on a lined half-sheet tray and cook to desired doneness, 20 to 25 minutes for just under crispy. Carefully remove from oven (watch out for hot bacon fat!) and drain on paper towels.
  4. Slice and toast bagels. Spread 2 tablespoons Spicy Pepper Cream Cheese on each bagel half. Arrange 6 to 8 pieces roasted tomatoes on the bottom halves. Top each with 3 leaves lettuce, torn to fit. Divide the bacon among the top halves, ripping the pieces in half to fit the tops. Close, slice and enjoy. (See Cook's Note.)

Spicy Cream Cheese:

Yield: 1 cup
  1. Whip cream cheese in a stand mixer or in a large bowl with a hand mixer until light, about 2 minutes. Add chopped peppers, salt and pepper flakes and mix on low to blend.

Cook’s Note

A BLT with juicy summer tomatoes is a beautiful thing. A BLT with mealy winter tomatoes is not, so we substitute oven-roasted tomatoes for great flavor year round. Oven-roasted tomatoes can be made ahead and chilled until sandwich assembly. They will keep for several weeks in the fridge. Bacon can also be cooked ahead of time, and refreshed in the oven before assembly. Wrapping sandwiches in pieces of waxed or parchment paper before slicing in half with a serrated knife will keep halves tidy. If you can't find roasted and peeled poblanos for the cream cheese, make your own, like we do in the shop, using a gas stovetop. Using tongs, rotate the pepper directly in the flame until blackened on all sides. Place in a metal bowl and cover with plastic wrap for 5 to 10 minutes to steam, then peel.

Vivian Howard


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