Thursday, August 11, 2011

Mediterranean Tomato Sandwich

Tomato Sandwich Ingredients

Apropos of my Tuesday post, I made it down to the City Hall farmers' market yesterday afternoon and picked up over a pound of heirloom tomatoes, a large bunch of purple basil (purple pesto time?), and a baguette from When Pigs Fly bakery. I had been jonesing to get my hands on some farm fresh tomatoes for David Tanis's tomato sandwich recipe since I first saw it, and while I've also been waiting for ages to use said summer tomatoes in dishes like panzanella and gazpacho...  on this particular day, the Mediterranean take on a simple tomato sandwich just called to me more. As a bonus, even when you're buying heirloom tomatoes at $4.50 a pound and $3 bunches of basil, it's still a cheap meal that takes 20 minutes to put together (though admittedly you'll still have to wait an hour to eat the sandwiches).

Tomato Sandwich Close-up

So besides the fresh tomatoes and basil (from the market or your garden) and a loaf of great bread, all you need are pantry staples: garlic, olive oil, red wine vinegar (I want to make it), capers, and red pepper flakes. Anchovies are also called for, and would certainly boost the ever popular umami, but since I was serving this to a vegetarian they were omitted.

Tanis calls for slicing the tomatoes thickly or cutting them into wedges, but I thought very thin slices would melt in your mouth and meld all the flavors a little more. But, on the other hand, if you see more value in texture contrast you'll want the thicker slices.

One great thing about this sandwich is the hour wait while all that tomato goodness penetrates deep into the bread which... while it doesn't seem that great when you're staring at it on the counter wanting to eat it... makes it a perfect sandwich to make for a picnic or hike. Obviously there is an upper limit here, but it will get better as it sits.

Definitely recommended.