Your Perfect Tomato Sandwich

You know how recipes are just made up?  I mean, some people have a lot of good ideas about food, and some people have extensive experience with food, and those people are probably going to make up good recipes.  But still, they’re just playing around, asking themselves what tastes good.

There is no right or wrong when it comes to recipes, really, and on some topics there is not even the remote possibility of agreement between any two authorities.  Once such topic, I submit, is The Perfect Tomato Sandwich.I’ve tried many.   Tomatoes alone.  Tomatoes with pesto, fresh mozzarella, and vinegar.  I understand that some people like tomatoes with lettuce and bacon.  I’ve even tried this sandwich, the tomatoes opulently nestled into a double setting of mayonnaise and butter.  Perfection is a slippery thing, ephemeral and ever-changing.  Especially when it comes to tomato sandwiches.

My personal current Perfect Tomato Sandwich–which I achieved tonight, just one of many wildly varying Perfect Tomato Sandwiches I’ve had in my life–is pictured above and detailed below.  It is emphatically open-faced, with thin slices of avocado and thick slices of tomato on grainy toasted bread.  Its crowning glory (or maybe it’s a hidden glory?) is a smear of anchovy-laced mayonnaise.

What is your perfect tomato sandwich this summer?

My Perfect Tomato Sandwich: First, make the anchovy-flavored mayonnaise (really, we’re making the Caesar dressing from the new Skillet cookbook): Mash half a small garlic clove with a big pinch of salt.  Add 1/4 tsp. anchovy paste, 1/4 tsp. lemon zest, 1/4 tsp. dijon mustard, 1/4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce, 1 1/2 tsp. lemon juice, and 4 Tbsp. mayonnaise.  Mix well.  Transfer to a jar and use a little on this sandwich, then the rest to dip vegetables or dress a raw kale salad.

Toast a piece of grainy whole-grain bread.  Top with a smear of the anchovy mayonnaise.  Layer on thin slices of avocado, then thick (1/2″-3/4″) slices of ripe, fragrant, perfect tomato.  Shower with salt and pepper.


17 thoughts on “Your Perfect Tomato Sandwich

  1. Jittery Cook

    I already have an amazing super foodie sister, but you can never have too many of those. I wish we were sisters! It can’t be a coincidence that I long to eat everything you prepare.

    1. Hannah

      Couldn’t wait for lunch and just made it for breakfast instead. The anchovy spread is mmm-mmm delicious and adds just the right amount of saltiness and pungent flavor to the tomato. I’m adding it to my eggs-on-toast tomorrow morning (and perhaps a tomato). Thanks for sharing!

  2. Allison

    Agh, such a difficult question! Can I choose two?

    Perfect Tomato Sandwich #1: Grilled cheese on homemade ciabatta with half cheddar, half gruyere, and a little dab of pesto, all sandwiched around plenty of tomato slices.

    Perfect Tomato Sandwich #2: Fresh pita bread spread with cilantro hummus and stuffed with thick tomato slices, greens (like spinach), avocado slices, and a few pickled green beans.

  3. tinykitchenstories

    Any sandwich right now would be a real treat. Almost two months now with no grains whatsoever. I personally love a tomato sandwich with some healthy slices of aged cheddar with mayo and freshly ground black pepper. YUM. Eat one for me, please!

  4. musingmar

    That anchovy mayonnaise sounds great! My favourite tomato sandwich is quite plain – tomato on toasted 9 grain bread, with freshly ground pepper and a pinch of dried basil and sprinkling of salt – elevated by a dish of pickled herring on the side. Weird but wonderful

  5. jonrowley

    Thanks for trying my tomato I like your anchovy idea. I sometimes like warmed anchovy filets on my sandwich, one of many tasty variations but when I have a really great high brix tomato, I go back to what I call “tomato sandwich bread” (soft white bread), mayo, butter, salt and pepper, with a 1/2 thick slice of tomato that covers the bread. We should have a tomato sandwich potluck where folks bring their favorite fixings.

  6. Pingback: Last Chance Tomatoes in a Burmese-Style Salad « The Asian Grandmothers Cookbook

  7. safifer

    If you have good tomatoes, there are so many perfect tomato sandwiches. I particularly like the sound of the anchovy mayonnaise! I think a summer get-together with a tomato sandwich pot luck sounds like a marvelous idea–I may try to make that happen next summer! Thanks for the great ideas and recipes!


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