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Posted on Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : noon

Tomato Sandwiches - a perfect summer meal

By Mary Bilyeu


Mary Bilyeu, Contributor

Is there a more perfect summer food than a ripe tomato? And is there any better way to eat one than in a tomato sandwich? I know many people — myself included! — who wait all year long for the joy of biting into this deliriously simple but splendid delicacy.

It takes so little to make a tomato sandwich: bread, mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato, a bit of salt and pepper. And yet, because there are so few ingredients, the quality of each is paramount.

So start with a good sourdough to contrast with the sweetness of the freshly picked, vine-ripened tomato. Add real mayonnaise — full-fat, please, contributing its smooth richness to the cause. Toss in some crisp lettuce, to add both contrasting color and crunch. Add a sprinkle each of salt and pepper, and put it all together.

And once these few simple items have been combined, you find yourself with a sandwich you remember vividly from last summer, which you've longed for as you watched the leaves turn, as you shovelled the snow, as you smelled the lilacs in bloom, as you planted your tomato seedlings and tended them with care.

It's finally here — the sandwich you've missed so, the one you've dreamt of for months and months.

You take the first bite... the juice of the tomato starts to drip down your hand... you grab for your napkin. And you smile broadly, knowing it was worth every moment of the wait for this moment of sheer bliss.

Tomato Sandwich

2 slices sourdough bread
generous schmears of mayonnaise
2 1/2-inch thick slices of tomato
pinch of kosher salt
pinch of freshly ground pepper

Lay the bread onto the countertop, and schmear with the mayonnaise. Lay lettuce on one slice of bread, and top it with the tomato slices. Sprinkle the salt and pepper over the tomatoes, then top with the remaining slice of bread and cut the sandwich in half.

Makes 1 sandwich, but can easily be multiplied.

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Mary Bilyeu has won or placed in more than 60 cooking contests and writes about her adventures in the kitchen. She was thrilled to have her post about Scottish Oatmeal Shortbread named as one of the daily "Best of the Blogs" by the prestigious Food News Journal.

Go visit Mary's blog — Food Floozie — on which she enthuses and effuses over all things food-related. Her newest feature is Frugal Floozie Friday, seeking fun and food for $5 or less ... really! Feel free to email her with questions or comments or suggestions:

The phrase "You Should Only Be Happy" (written in Hebrew on the stone pictured in this post) comes from Deuteronomy 16:15 and is a wish for all her readers as they cook along with her ... may you always be happy here.