Maple-Brown Sugar Pancetta BLT with Avocado and Basil Aioli

On this year’s National Eat What You Want Day we here at Sensei Farms encourage you to do just that and shamelessly sink your teeth into this anything but ordinary B.L.T. featuring maple and brown sugar glazed pancetta, our sweet vine-ripened tomatoes and tender living butter lettuce, creamy avocado, and a bright and garlicky basil aioli.


For the maple-brown sugar pancetta

  • 8 ounces pancetta, sliced thin (ask your deli attendant to slice for you if possible)
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup

Basil aioli

  • 3 fresh garlic cloves, minced + 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 1 cup mayonnaise

To assemble and serve

  • 8 slices thick cut sourdough (or bread of choice), toasted
  • 2 beefsteak tomatoes, sliced thick
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 1 head butter lettuce, core removed, leaves divided, washed and patted dry
  • 1 avocado, sliced


Step 1

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Step 2

Line a baking sheet with foil and arrange pancetta slices in a single layer on top. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until almost crispy.

Step 3

Meanwhile, combine brown sugar and maple syrup in medium mixing bowl and whisk thoroughly. Set bowl on top of oven while pancetta is baking to keep warm until ready to use.

Step 4

In the bowl of a food processor or by hand combine the garlic, salt, and lemon juice and let sit for 5 to 10 minutes. Add the basil and mayonnaise and pulse or stir to combine. Adjust seasoning as needed.

Step 5

When pancetta is ready, brush each slice with a generous amount of maple-brown sugar glaze, and bake for an additional 5 to 8 minutes, being careful not to burn. Remove from oven and let cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Step 6

To build sandwiches begin by spreading 1 to 2 tablespoons of basil aioli on both sides of toasted sourdough. Top bottom slice with 1/4th of sliced avocado, some butter leaf lettuce, 2 thick slices of beefsteak tomato (seasoned to taste with salt and pepper), 1/4th of the glazed pancetta, and top slice of toasted sourdough. Serve immediately. Any additional aioli can be stored covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.