This is not so much a recipe as it is a reminder.
A reminder that if you have a farmer’s market nearby and two legs to take you there, I challenge you to get to it ASAP. Because I guarantee your market, like mine, is offering a whole wonderful world of giant juicy jewel-toned tomatoes ripe for the slicing, and they won’t last forever.
Once you get your hands on one of these treasures (I recommend an heirloom in an alluring hue), there’s not much left to do. Slice it in wedges and eat it raw. Be fancy and pair it with garlic scape pesto and fresh mozzarella. Or don’t be fancy and craft your own special take on August’s greatest gift: the tomato sandwich.
Some tomato sandwich purists may insist that you use mayonnaise, but I’ve never been a fan. Instead, I like to use an intriguing variety of mustard, like this maple mustard I found on a recent weekend trip to Vermont. If you ever get the chance, check out the Northeast Kingdom Tasting Center in Newport, Vermont, and pick yourself up a jar.
This sandwich hardly needs a recipe, but here’s one anyway, for posterity’s sake:
a tomato sandwich
2 slices whole wheat bread, lightly toasted
2-3 thick slices of heirloom tomato
a few thin slices of cucumber
a few crisp leaves of lettuce
a slice of muenster cheese
1 tablespoon sweet maple mustard
freshly ground black pepper
Choose your tomato wisely. Choose one that’s succulent and colorful, preferably one that reminds you of a sunset. Choose a tomato that looks strikingly similar to that other August superstar, the peach.
You don’t need much to make this sandwich shine. A few cucumber coins. A couple lettuce leaves. Let’s keep this simple.
Lightly toast your bread. Slather it with mustard. If you’re into it, throw a slice of muenster on top. If not, that’s cool, too.
Now we stack. The lettuce. The cucumber. And last but certainly not least, the belle of the ball: the tomato. Season with black pepper and voila.
And when, on your first bite, the juice dribbles down your chin, don’t wipe it away. Wear it proudly. Because you’ve just made the world’s greatest tomato sandwich.