Forget BLT: Here's the Honest ABE

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Going off the initials--asparagus, bacon, and egg--I was thinking maybe I should call this an Honest ABE. And while the asparagus is "running" right now, it's honestly the time to eat this, and it's very honestly very good so, what the hell, an Honest ABE sandwich it is.

Making an Honest ABE isn't all that hard to do: small investment, big flavor return. Start by cooking bacon slices of your choice in a heavy skillet--if you like bigger flavor go with Benton's or, as I've been doing, the Edwards Berkshire bacon, which is great. If you like mellower, the Nueske's is great, of course.

You can increase or decrease the number of slices you use depending on how much bacon you like to eat. I've been going with two slices per sandwich but even a single slice would work if you're eating less meat, and big bacon eaters would probably take it up to four.

Eat it quickly if you can 'cause it's just nowhere near as good when you can't consume this one hot! It's messy but it's...honestly really, really good!

When the bacon starts to heat up in the skillet, add a bunch of asparagus spears to the pan--if they're long ones, cut 'em in half before you cook so they'll fit on your sandwich. Again the ratio is really up to you--there's no right amount. I load up the asparagus myself--it's so good this time of year!

While all that's happening in the skillet, make up some mayonnaise; if you're feeling flush for time, make it from scratch (recipe is in Zingerman's Guide to Good Eating or online). I've been making it with that really good cold-pressed mustard oil we've been getting from Australia. If you're in a hurry (which I often am), you can mix a bit of the mustard oil and a generous squeeze of fresh lemon in with your Hellmann's--that works just fine too.

Cook the asparagus until it starts to brown a bit on the edges. If the bacon is starting to get too well done, just take it out of the pan early while the asparagus finishes up. When both are out of the pan, drop two slices of bread into the toaster. I've been using Bakehouse White (our little-known, but really delicious Pullman loaf), but you can probably do it on farm bread, sourdough, or whatever you like.

While the bread is toasting, crack an egg (or two) into the skillet to cook in the bacon fat. I've been cooking "over easy" but you can do it any way you like. Meanwhile, spread the bread with plenty of the mayo--don't skimp, okay? When the egg is ready, put it, with the yolk facing down, onto the bottom slice of bread. (If I were in a restaurant doing this, I'd probably put it on top for presentation sake, but since I'm at home, I don't care that much how it looks and I like it when the yolk soaks into the bread rather than running off.)

Lay the asparagus on top of the egg, then put the bacon slices atop the green. Grind on a bunch of black pepper. Slap on the other slice of the bread and eat it quickly if you can 'cause it's just nowhere near as good when you can't consume this one hot! It's messy but it's...honestly really, really good!

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Ari Weinzweig is co-founder of Zingerman's Community of Businesses, in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He is also the author of Zingerman's Guide to Good Eating. More

After graduating from University of Michigan with a degree in Russian history, Ari Weinzweig went to work washing dishes in a local restaurant and soon discovered that he loved the food business. Along with his partner Paul Saginaw, Ari started Zingerman's Delicatessen in 1982 with a $20,000 bank loan, a staff of two, a small selection of great-tasting specialty foods, and a relatively short sandwich menu. Today, Zingerman's is a community of businesses that employs over 500 people and includes a bakery, creamery, sit-down restaurant, training company, coffee roaster, and mail order service. Ari is the author of the best-selling Zingerman's Guide to Good Eating and the forthcoming Zingerman's Guide to Better Bacon.
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