A Summer Classic
When I think of summertime, there are a few things that always come to mind—mostly, 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. And, of course, fresh tomatoes picked right out of the garden—sliced and enjoyed between two pieces 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 my grandma. As a child, I would spend a week with Grandma and Grandaddy Dooley every summer. Grandma was a Sunday School teacher for many years, and she taught Bible School during the week I visited. 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 old church cemetery as the sun set chasing lightening bugs with the other children.
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 us at Everyday Sommelier. We’re located at 514-B Fifth Street in Downtown Lynchburg. Or, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a price list.
Grandma’s Tomato Sandwich
Tuscan Tomato Sandwich
Have a wonderful week!