Tag Archives: sandwich

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? Continue reading


Tomato, Pesto, and Mozzarella Sandwich for a Crowd

Summertime, with its good weather and long light evenings, always means more spontaneous meals with friends.  The past few days we’ve had plenty of them because my sister and I and a couple of girlfriends took all our many children to some nice little cabins by a beach on an island.  We worked hard all day–the pool! the beach! the playground! roasting marshmallows!–and collapsed at the shady picnic tables at the end of each day for a small feast together.  (Although “collapsed” may be wishful thinking here; moms traveling alone with a contingent of young children rarely get to “collapse” for more than two consecutive minutes, I’ve learned.)

One of my favorite strategies for feeding a hungry crowd is to slice a baguette or two in half lengthwise, stuff it full of delicious things, and cut it into many pieces.  Serve a few salads alongside and voila, an easy dinner for as many people as you need to feed.  (Bonus points if you give the kids popsicles for dessert so they can run off and get sticky while the grown-ups linger over another drink.)

The classic caprese combination (tomato, mozzarella, basil) makes one of my favorite sandwiches.  I find that some versions can get a little dry, though, so I juice mine up by using pesto instead of basil leaves and a generous drizzle of balsamic vinegar.

The order of assembly is important here: pesto on the bottom half of the bread, please, and vinegar on the top, so that the vinegar soaks down into the tomatoes, which should be on top of the cheese, which collaborates with the pesto to keep the bottom piece of bread from getting soggy.  Got that?  Top to bottom inside your baguette: balsamic vinegar, tomato, fresh mozzarella, good basil pesto.  Yes, I spend time thinking about these kinds of things.  I can admit it here because I know that you do, too.  That’s why I’m glad we’re friends.

Continue reading Tomato, Pesto, and Mozzarella Sandwich (click for recipe)