Ben’s Southern Summer Tomato Sandwich
This sandwich is almost too simple. But also easy to screw up.
Ingredients are the key to this southern sandwich’s culinary mysticism.
White bread. Soft, white bread. The kind of white bread everyone is always poo-pooing. Like Wonder Bread. Or if you want to go faux High-Brow, get Pepperidge Farm white bread.
Mayonnaise. Hellmann’s. Or Duke’s, the mayo many southerners swear by, although it’s hard to find anywhere north of the Mason-Dixon.
A Big, Fat, Juicy Homegrown Tomato. Must be at the peak of ripeness. If you don’t grow them yourself or have access to a neighbor’s backyard bounty, get it from a farmers’ market. Again, it MUST be ripe. DO NOT BUY IN A SUPERMARKET! And, did I mention it must be perfectly ripe? I prefer a big beefsteak variety; an heirloom like Brandywine is perfection. The one in the picture is a Black Krim, also delicious. Cut a thick slab, ¾ of an inch, at least. If you don’t have a ginormous tomato, several thick slices of smaller tomatoes will do.
Slather mayo on both slices of bread. Don’t be shy.
Slap the slab of tomato on one piece and liberally apply sea salt and fresh ground pepper.
Apply the second slice of white bread.
Take a bite.
See the mysteries of the universe unravel before you.
Wipe the juice from your chin.
I recommend you eat this while standing over the sink, gazing off into the distance. Ignore all earthly distractions until you’re finished. Feel the ecstasy down to your toes.
And try these alternatives: Substitute toasted sourdough. Add a little fresh basil.
And, of course, adding bacon and lettuce is never wrong.
Do you have a favorite summer sandwich? Or a favorite sandwich featuring tomatoes?