Praise the Lord, it’s finally arrived – tomato season. There is just nothing quite like a juicy, sun-ripened tomato picked fresh right out of your own backyard. Mmmmmmm. Now, if you’ve never had the pleasure of tasting a home grown tomato, stop what you’re doing and head to your nearest farmer’s market or gardener friend’s house and find one. There is truly no comparison between a tomato grown at home and the sad excuses for tomatoes you can buy in the grocery store. This sandwich can only be made with the former, trust me on this. On that note, this is a sandwich that can only be enjoyed in the summer months. It just wouldn’t be quite as delicious if it was available year-round, in my opinion. That first tomato sandwich of the season is absolutely glorious. It’s something that fellow gardeners dream about during those long, gray winter months when the only gardening there is to do is to flip through the pages of seed catalogues, daydreaming about what will be growing in the months to come.
Before we get into the super complicated instructions for this sandwich, I just had to share a few images of some of the beautiful tomatoes I’ve picked out of my garden so far this summer. Aren’t they magnificent? My tomatoes have thankfully been doing really well in this Mississippi heat and humidity (so far,) but it’s not uncommon for them to stop producing after days consistently reach the high 90’s (which can easily happen in June down here.) So I’m cherishing every tomato sandwich I can while my plants are still doing well.
This gorgeous yellow tomato was my choice for this day’s lunch. It’s almost embarrassing how proud I was of this tomato. It was absolutely perfect. See, I’ve “grown” tomatoes myself before, but I’ve never had a proper garden with several tomato plants that I cared for consistently. This tomato was huge, as in, it only took one fat slice to cover the entire piece of bread. I watched it grow everyday from a teeny green tomato, to a big green tomato (it was at this stage that my husband Brennan expressed an interest in picking it green and frying. Not even a tiny a chance.) This tomato was destined for a tomato sandwich.
So here’s where the fun begins. Choose your respective tomatoes, and slice em’ up. Tip: The slices need to be realllllly thick. We don’t want any McDonald’s style thin sliced tomatoes on this sandwich.
Now we’re ready for the bread. Here’s the thing with a tomato sandwich, you must use good ol’ store-bought sandwich bread. This is not the time for crusty loafs and homemade sourdough. Don’t get me wrong, those breads are absolutely delicious in the right setting, which is MOST of the time. But not here folks. We don’t even want wheat bread. You need to find the cheap, two dollar loaf of either white bread or some sort of honey-wheat style bread. The texture of the super soft bread along with the thick juice tomato just can’t be beat.
You can choose to either toast your bread or leave it plain, that’s up to you. I tend to lightly toast mine most of the time, but both ways are perfectly acceptable.
After the bread comes another crucial ingredient – mayonnaise. Here me out, even if you don’t think you like mayo, just do it. The mayo helps protect the bread from becoming too soggy from that juicy tomato. So slather both pieces of bread with your favorite brand of mayo and top with your thickly sliced, home-grown tomato.
Last, liberally sprinkle your tomato with lots of black pepper and crunch sea salt. Slap the top on your sandwich and folks, you’ve got yourself one of the best sandwiches in existence.
A work of art.
Alright, this pregnant lady can’t look at any more pictures of tomato sandwiches without making one for herself. So if you never have, get out there and fix yourself a tomato sandwich. And enjoy every single one this summer, because the days may be long and hot, but this season will fly by, and before we know it we’ll be eating pumpkin and turkey and dreaming of the days when a tomato sandwich was only as far as the garden out the back door.