I’ve been waiting patiently all summer for the arrival of tomatoes in our CSA box. Several weeks ago we received one lone quart, followed by a couple disappointing weeks without, and finally last week we got three quarts of gorgeous multicolored tomatoes: brick red, yellow, purple. As I sliced into these beauties, still gloriously warm from being in the sun, the smell of vine and earth still lingering on their skins, juice covered my cutting board. I knew exactly what I was making.
I can remember being young and my mom teaching me how to make a tomato sandwich in our kitchen in New Hope, Pennsylvania. For this purpose, Mom set aside the 7-grain crunchy bread filled with nuts and seeds and pulled out thick slices of good quality white. “Why?”, I asked. Because the simple, white bread let the tomato flavor shine. Lightly toasted white bread, slathered with mayonnaise, and topped with several slices of salted tomato and freshly ground black pepper was really one of the best flavor combinations I had ever tasted as a kid. I distinctly remember marveling that something so simple could taste so good.
I’ve mentioned this special sauce before, but as Mom and I made the first tomato sandwiches of the summer, I realized that adding basil to the sandwich sauce I learned to make at a pub in Farnborough, England, would thrust this tomato sandwich into another stratosphere. Creamy mayonnaise mixed with tangy dijon and spiked with finely grated onion and chopped basil. These flavors complement the lush tomatoes and crunchy bread perfectly. This was, in fact, the best ever open-faced tomato sandwich I’d ever had. And I wanted to share it with you.
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
- ¼ red onion, finely grated
- ¼ cup chopped basil, plus extra leaves for garnish
- 8 slices good quality white bread
- 2 medium-large tomatoes
- 4 medium tomatoes
- Handful cherry tomatoes
- Salt and pepper
- Mix mayonnaise, mustard, onion, and basil in a small bowl; set aside.
- Meanwhile toast bread and slice tomatoes, sprinkling them with salt and pepper. Spread a generous portion of sauce on each slice of bread, top with tomato slices, garnish with basil and serve.
Those little green ones are green zebras. They are mine and Eavan’s favorite!!! They also make a great caprese salad. The purple ones look like Cherokee Purples. Those are my hubby’s favorite. Really beefy and meaty. I will so miss them when they are gone.
Mal @ The Chic Geek says
This looks so delicious! I love a summer tomato sandwich
I am so happy your tomatoes finally showed up enough to share this beautiful sandwich with us! It’s a funny thing, these tomatoes, I am waiting for my little ones to ripen so I can toss them into a pasta today. I can’t wait to try the sauce with them, it looks so good!
A summer supper staple – I always have the ingredients on hand! I can’t wait to dress it up with this delicious spread.
As much as I love a BLT (or a BLAT), there is nothing like a good tomato sandwich. I’ve had one nearly every day this week!
Really love the addition of basil leaves into this recipe. I can feel my mouth watering from reading this alone!
Aimee @ Simple Bites says
You just reminded me that I have not enjoyed nearly enough simple tomato sandwiches this summer. Going to remedy that this week. This looks amaaaaazing!