Every fall we seem to rediscover the open-faced tomato sandwich. As the end of the autumn harvest approaches we know this is our last chance to eat really fantastic tomatoes for another 8 or 9 months and we try to squeeze in as many as possible. It’s not uncommon for me to cover an entire plate in thinly sliced bread in order to make a massive tomato sandwich with 4 or 5 layers of different colored ‘maters!
Every version we’ve shared in years past had feta cheese. I love it’s sharpness (and saltiness) but this year we went for fresca. Fresca is a young cheese that is tangy; it’s a pleasant change and both work equally well.
Heirloom Tomato Sandwich – Ingredients (for 2 people).
- Whole-grain bread (we often use spelt as it holds up well to the liquid in the dressing and from the tomatoes). I like to cut it very thin and use 3-4 pieces per person.
- 1-1.5 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- Garlic clove, chopped tiny.
- 2 teaspooons honey
- 2 teaspoons tahini (this will help emulsify the dressing by joining the oil and vinegar; you could replace this with a bit of Dijon mustard or skip altogether)
- Hot peppers (or flakes), if you wish
- As many fresh herbs as possible, roughly chopped (I love to use lots of basil, oregano, chives and a bit of thyme and rosemary)
- Fresca Cheese (enough to cover the bread when cut very thinly)
- 0.25 Spanish (or white) onion, chopped fine (optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste
0.25 cups olive oil
- 1-1.5 pounds of ripe tomatoes. Cut them fairly thick (just under a half-inch or 1 cm is great)
Heirloom Tomato Sandwich – Instructions
- Slice Bread, spread in 1 layer over plate.
- Slice cheese as thin as possible. Spread a layer over bread.
- Make the dressing by mixing the oil, vinegar, garlic, honey, tahini, hot peppers (if using) and salt and pepper to taste. You can mix my hand but I prefer to give this a blitz in a food processor or blender.
- Add approximately 25% of your herbs to the dressing, mix (or process) to incorporate. Taste for salt, pepper and the amount of vinegar and adjust if you wish.
- Scatter a small amount of dressing on top of the cheese layer (reserving most of your dressing).
- Layer tomatoes across bread.
- Scatter chopped onions on top of tomatoes.
- Pour rest of dressing over sandwiches.
- Garnish with lots of fresh herbs.
- Allow sandwiches to sit for 5 minutes. Eat with a fork and knife!
This is one of my favorite meals of the year; I will eat them until my mouth peels from all of the acid!
How do you celebrate the ending of harvest season in your kitchen?