A Summer Classic
When I think of summertime, there are a few things that always come to mind. I guess this is partially because I grew up in the rural South. But, there’s just nothing like the sound of cicadas singing in the trees on a warm summer evening, a night sky so dark that you can see the Milky Way and almost every constellation, especially the Big Dipper. And, of course, fresh tomatoes picked right out of the garden, sliced, and enjoyed between two slices of bread with a bit of butter, mayonnaise, salt, and pepper—the classic tomato sandwich.
My first memories of this iconic Southern treat were made while visiting Grandma Dooley. As a child, I lived nearby to both sets of grandparents, visiting with them often. Every summer, I would spend a week with Grandma. She was a Sunday School teacher for many years and also taught Bible School. While at Grandma’s, I attended Bible School with my cousin, Kim. I still remember the experience so clearly: riding the church bus around curvy, back country roads to Mt. Zion Baptist Church; listening to Grandma tell us a Bible story about Jesus and making a special craft in her classroom; singing “This Little Light of Mine” during choir practice; and running around the church cemetery with the other children—after having the customary refreshments of Oreo cookies and Kool-Aid. But, I’ve gone off on a tangent. 😉
Anyway, it was during one of my week long summertime visits that I encountered the tomato sandwich. Most everybody in this rural area had a garden, and Grandaddy Dooley took pride in his tomatoes. So, there were plenty to go around, and it was the perfect lunchtime treat. If I remember correctly, Grandma Dooley’s sandwich consisted of Sunbeam white sandwich bread, butter, mayonnaise, tomatoes, and salt and pepper. So simple…so good!
Here’s the thing: The point of the tomato sandwich is its simplicity—let the ripe tomato goodness shine through. So, using just a few ingredients is the key to your creation. However, if you’re interested in adding a bit of a twist, you may enjoy my Tuscan version as well. It’s still simple and delicious…but with sliced pane Toscano (unsalted Tuscan bread), olive oil, balsamic vinegar, heirloom tomatoes, fresh basil, and truffle seasalt. Either way, they’re both a piece of summertime heaven….plus, you can almost taste a little bit of sunshine.
** For authentic and high quality Tuscan products: olive oil, balsamic vinegars, and truffle sea salt, please visit: Conti Tuscany Flavours.
Grandma’s Tomato Sandwich
Tuscan Tomato Sandwich
Have a wonderful week!