Taylor ham aka pork roll is a New Jersey treasure. Salty, savory, and porky, sort of like Spam meets Genoa salami. You’ll most often find it crisped on a griddle in a diner, then tucked in a kaiser roll with a fried egg and American cheese. But this ingredient wants to be used anywhere you’d normally think of actual-ham or bacon or sausage. The possibilities are endless—try it in fried rice, hodgepodge pasta, or your next BLT. Yes, yes, it’s no longer a BLT without the B. But I have a hunch that this version (THLT? PRLT?) will swiftly become your new go-to come summer each year. If you live in or near New Jersey, you don’t need me to tell you where to find Taylor ham—just about any supermarket should be amply stocked. If you aren’t in the northeast, check your nearest supermarket anyway (I could find it when I lived in North Carolina). Or order it online. Like a classic BLT, this is only worth it with in-season, water-balloon-esque tomatoes. But feel free to go rogue with the bread options: A potato bun, kaiser roll, or English muffin would all work wonders here.
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Watch This Recipe
Taylor Ham, Lettuce & Tomato Sandwich
1 to 2 thick tomato slices
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 slices Taylor ham
2 to 3 iceberg or butter lettuce leaves
Mayonnaise, for slathering
2 sandwich bread slices, toasted
In This Recipe
Thickly slice the tomato and generously season it with salt and pepper.
Set a cast-iron skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Score the perimeter of the Taylor ham at 12 o’clock, 3 o’clock, 6 o’clock, and 9 o’clock. (This helps it crisp.) Add the ham slices to the hot skillet. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes total, flipping as needed, until crispy-edged.
Spread both pieces of toast with mayonnaise. Build the sandwich in this order: bread, Taylor ham, lettuce, tomatoes, bread.
Emma was the food editor at Food52. She created the award-winning column, Big Little Recipes, and turned it into a cookbook in 2021. These days, she's a senior editor at Bon Appétit, leading digital cooking coverage. Say hello on Instagram at @emmalaperruque.