The signs of late summer and early fall are everywhere. The weather is cooling off, if only marginally. The CMU and Pitt students are back in Oakland, turning the empty campuses into a sea of book bags, flip flops, t-shirts, shorts and sweat pants. And, in the food bin, the tomatoes are overflowing. Late summer always means tomatoes, and what better dish to make with a tomato than the BLT.

The key to the great BLT is in following four rules:

1. Crunchy thick bacon.

2. Good acidic tomatoes.

3. Decent bread.

4. The lettuce doesn’t really matter.

I like to buy thick sliced Virginia bacon at the Giant Eagle and microwave it on a plate a few slices at a time. If you nuke it 4 to 5 minutes and then let it rest it gets just about the right texture.

Then, toast the bread, lay the bacon down, then the lettuce and one or two slices of tomato. I like mayonnaise on a BLT. Others disagree about this. I don’t think there is a hard and fast rule.

Cut the sandwich in half and serve with fresh corn on the cob. There is no better meal for late summer than a BLT and corn.