I have invented (one of) the very best tomato sandwiches ever to grace this earth. I've been eating a version of this sandwich on almost a daily basis, and will continue to gorge myself on them until tomato season has faded. And then I will mourn its absence until next July.
Summer is not my favorite season, especially in New York...constant heat and sticky, stifling humidity are not qualities I look for in a city. Sometimes it gets so hot waiting for the subway that it's difficult to breathe. But! One redeeming thing about summer almost entirely makes up for its faults: The explosion of farmer's market bounty. Above, pearls and gold corn, yellow peaches, blueberries, summer squash, zucchini, and --the stars of the show-- heirloom tomatoes.
Here's how to make the sandwich to end all sandwiches: Toast two slices of bread (I used pumpernickel, but any hearty, whole-grain loaf will work). Meanwhile, slice the heirloom tomatoes of your choice. Once the toast is crispy, take a clove of garlic and rub it over the surface of the toasted bread.
Spread some good mayo over the garlic toast (or make your own aioli, if you're feeling fancy. I generally am not). Layer on the thick, juicy slices of tomato and sprinkle with sea salt and a few grinds of fresh peppercorns. The tangy juice of the tomato will combine with the mayo and garlic and will soften the toast slightly to create something incredible. I crumbled a little bacon on my sandwich because I had some on hand, but it's not a requirement. Finally, top with whatever herbs you have...I used thyme since I have some growing on my windowsill, and I highly recommend it, but basil, parsley, cilantro, or even a little finely chopped rosemary would be delicious as well.
This open-faced sandwich is super easy to throw together, plus so, so incredibly delicious. I stand by my plan of eating at least one of these every day. Go make one right now. On the left, the summer squash I sliced, rubbed with olive oil, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, a little oregano, and lime juice, broiled until crispy on the bottoms, flipped, and broiled a little more. Unctuous and fabulous.
Close-up of some of the small heirlooms I swiped. The red and yellow one on the right is seriously the best tomato I have ever had, but I don't know what it's called! The internet tells me it could be Old German or German Stripe, and the guy at the farmer's market said it was Striped Cavern, but it doesn't look like the pictures of those. If anyone knows, please tell me, so when I have a garden I can plant millions of these babies.