The Undeniably Best Tomato Sandwich, According To Padma Lakshmi

Television host, author, and food expert Padma Lakshmi is a fan of delicious dishes from all around the globe, with a palate ranging from the classics to the straight-up adventurous. She openly appreciates each and every ingredient and technique that goes into the edible delights that make up the cuisines we love.

Speaking of classics, Lakshmi is quite fond of the trusty tomato — the now-ubiquitous fruit that has made its way into recipes of all kinds since it entered the culinary sphere around A.D. 700 in ancient Mesoamerica, per Smithsonian Magazine – so much so that she even wrote a children's book about them called "Tomatoes for Neela." Today, there are currently an estimated 10,000 tomato varieties in existence, according to Gardeners Net, which allows consumers to try a slew of different styles as they please.

Tomatoes are a key element in ketchup, pasta sauces, jams, and juices and are also commonly incorporated into soups, salads, and of course, sandwiches. A number of people, including Lakshmi herself, swear by including tomatoes in sandwiches for a tangier taste and juicier character. So, what mega-popular sandwich that calls for tomato does Padma Lakshmi consider the best of all time?

Padma Lakshmi enjoys a good BLT

The BLT — short for bacon, lettuce, and tomato — is a sandwich known for its simplicity and versatility. And Padma Lakshmi is a huge fan who has a secret for how to make them perfectly. She shared her passion for the handheld meal in a recent tweet, confessing, "A BLT is unquestionably the best version of a tomato sandwich." The one primary ingredient of the BLT, however, that she truly believes can make or break the savory sammie is the "T." She continues, "Make no mistake, the tomatoes are the star. Summertime is the ideal time to enjoy this OG of the sandwich world. The sheer bliss of a good BLT is absent if the tomatoes are sad and watery." So, according to Lakshmi, perfectly ripened tomatoes are essential to this tasty, crunchy classic. Crispy bacon, fresh lettuce, and hearty bread are important, too, of course.

The beloved BLT can take on many flavorful forms. Add a layer of creamy mayo and a couple of slices of your favorite cheese for added texture and nutty flavor. Craving a savory, carb-heavy breakfast or brunch? Toss a chewy sunny-side-up egg or some soft, yielding sliced avocado into the creation. You can even go beyond stacking the main components between two slices of bread and whip up yummy BLT-inspired pasta salads, tacos, soups, and more, as Brit + Co suggests.