Nothing heralds the true beginning of summer than a tomato sandwich. I did not always appreciate the essential soulfulness of a tomato sandwich. The conventional recipe calls for soft white bread and lots of mayonnaise and little else. It was…squishy. Not appealing. A few years ago, though, I read a story in Saveur by Christopher Hersheimer. It was about her version of the tomato sandwich. She favors toast and butter, plus the mayo. Yes, indeed. I tried it. It was sublime. Here it is with Hirsheimer’s comments.
My summer sandwich is kind of a private thing. It’s messy—and who wants to own up to using both butter and mayo? But if you’re ever home alone one hot afternoon give this a try.
1 really ripe tomato (big, red-blue beefsteaks are
best—all flesh and juice, with not too many seeds.)
2 thin slices of good toast
Salt and fresh black pepper
1. Thickly slice tomato.Butter toast, slather a thick layer of mayonnaise on both pieces, then lay on two or three tomato slices and season with a generous sprinkle of salt, the tiniest pinch of sugar, and a few good grinds of black pepper.
2. Roll up your sleeves (or just take off your shirt), lean over the sink, and bite through the crisp buttered bread and creamy mayonnaise, and into the sweet taste of summer. Abandon yourself. And let the juice run down your arms.