A tomato just picked, fresh off the vine and warm from the summer is one of the high points of summer for me. And we have had an abundance of tomatoes this year! You may have seen my previous post about The Best Gazpacho Ever, which was a great way to enjoy the fresh abundance from the garden. But living in the South for the last 25 years, I have learned to appreciate the simple yumminess of a tomato sandwich.
Kate Williams with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution published an article recently, “You say tomato… Three ways to improve upon the classic tomato sandwich.” So I tried out two of them in the Delaney Test Kitchen and I can’t pick which one is my favorite. If you try these, you’ll have to let me know which one you pick: the Improved Classic Tomato Sandwich, or the Heirloom Tomato Sandwich with Bacon Mayonnaise.
Thanks to this article, I also learned how to make a tomato sandwich that didn’t drip all over the place. The trick is to take 30 minutes to let them season. This process uses salt to remove excess water from the tomatoes, concentrating their flavor. Slice the tomato and lay tomato slices out on a wire rack set over a baking sheet or stack of paper towels. Sprinkle with salt and pepper on both sides and then just let them hang out while you put away dishes or kill time on social.
After about 30 minutes, you’ll see a pool of water below the tomatoes and a slick of water on top of them. Pat the slices dry, and then stack these flavor-packed tomatoes between mayonnaise-slicked slices of white bread. Big beefsteak tomatoes work great, but giant heirlooms work well too.
Improved Classic Tomato Sandwich
Heirloom Tomato Sandwich with Bacon Mayonnaise
· 2 slices bacon, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick strips
· 1/2 cup mayonnaise, such as Duke’s
· 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
· Salt and freshly ground black pepper
· 2 large, ripe heirloom tomatoes, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
· 8 slices sourdough sandwich bread, such as Pepperidge Farm
1. Place the bacon in a small skillet with 1/4 cup of water. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the water cooks off and the bacon has rendered its fat and turned very crisp, about 15 minutes. If necessary, reduce the heat to avoid scorching.