The Best Tomato Sandwich and other Tomato Recipes

   

 

 

 

This season we are collecting tomato sandwich recipes and other favorite recipes from customers all over the world. Please join us!

 

If you are a customer of Laurel's Heirloom Tomato Plants or a TomatoFest seed customer, please send us your favorite way to include tomatoes in a sandwich.

Do you have a favorite way to prepare the perfect tomato sandwich? A family recipe? 

Simple or elaborate, please share it with us.

 

Seems everyone has a favorite and perfect way to make them -- just the right bread, just the right mayo, the perfect tomato, how thick a slice? Lettuce, which type of lettuce? Bacon, what brand? Crispy or floppy?

Avocado? Onion? Cheese? Chile powder? More? Less?

 

If you are a new or returning customer we will post your recipe with your first name and your state or your full name, as you wish. We're waiting for your recipe...send it in today!

 tomatoplants@pacbell.net

 

Brown Derby

 

California Style, Hot Bacon & Chilled Lettuce

or 'How to make the phone ring....'

Squaw bread or a sweet whole wheat bread, really fresh.

A little bit of finely chopped sweet onion. Maybe a teaspoon -- just for seasoning, too much will overpower the other flavors.

Fresh cracked pepper and a little finishing salt. Penzey's is my absolute favorite. Finishing salt is an indulgence I cannot resist.

5 slices of smoked bacon.  Niman Ranch Applewood Smoked Bacon from Trader Joe's, but I also LOVE Farmer John bacon, cooked very crispy. Keep the bacon hot!

Best Foods mayonnaise.

Big, sweet, right off the vine, warm from the sun, green-when-ripe, red, black, orange or bi-colored tomato like Aunt Ruby's German Green, Carbon, Chocolate Amazon, Brown Derby, Cherokee Purple, Goose Cree, Persimmon, Marvel Striped or Dagma's Perfection, or....

Sliced the tomato ½" thick and as big as the bread or bigger.  Or, if using a smaller tomato, cut several slices to cover the bread. Your tomato should be on the sweet side with a perfect background of tang. A rich, juicy, irresistible tomato.

Very crisp and cold mild-flavored lettuce, like iceberg or butter lettuce, not bitter lettuce or strong tasting lettuce.

 

While keeping the bacon hot, spread a nice layer of mayo on the bread, put the tomato slice on the bread, put a thin layer of mayo on the tomato. Add just a little salt and pepper to taste.

 

Sprinkle with the onion.

 

Add the piece of chilled lettuce and another thin layer of mayonnaise. The mayonnaise will keep the sandwich glued together so you don't have the slip-slidin' away lettuce/tomato syndrome.

Add 4 ½ slices of the hot, right-out-the-pan bacon, drained briefly, leave a little bacon grease on it for guilty pleasure, add the other slice of bread. 

 

Eat the other ½ slice of bacon as an appetizer or save it for dessert. Have a big glass of milk and some napkins ready.  Relax and take a bite of your sandwich before the bacon cools.

 

The phone will ring the moment you sit down , take the first bite and slip irretrievably into reverie.  Ignore it.  (The phone, not the sandwich.)

 

Laurel Garza

Laurel's Heirloom Tomato Plants

California

 

 

 

  

 

 

Spanish Breakfast

                                                                          
 
I visited my daughter in Spain a couple of years ago and came back with this:
 
 A slice of good artisan bread, pick your kind.
 Toast it lightly
 Drizzle with olive oil
 Add a nice cold slice of smoked Provolone
 Big thick slice of your best tomato, nice and warm
 Sprinkle with salt & pepper
 Add some oregano and basil
 
 mm...mmm...mmmmmmm!
 
 Eric Pierce
 Carlsbad, NM

 

 

 

 

 

BLT: Summer in a Sandwich

 

From our friend Leslie Land, New York Times Food & Garden Writer

You have to grow the lettuce in the shade (of the tomato plants, for instance) but other than that, August and September are glory time for one of the greatest food items ever assembled, that lunch of lunches, the BLT.

Can’t really say there’s only one recipe. Say rather there’s only one correct set of components .

 

 

A Proper BLT:

the Bacon: Local pork. No nitrates. Put slices in a single layer in a heavy cast-iron skillet . Cook slowly, turning often, until most of the fat is rendered and the bacon is well-browned and crisp. Drain. Save fat for cornbread, fried green tomatoes and other bacon fat needy items.

( For a while there I was doing the bacon in the microwave, sandwiching it between unbleached paper towels according to micro directions. It got very crisp and was notably un-greasy, but all that lovely bacon fat was lost and the crispness of the bacon was an oddly dry, industrial crispness reminiscent of fake bacon bits. )

the Lettuce: Preferably from the garden. Crisp but not agribusiness-romaine crisp; it has to play well with others while adding a light, fresh note to the ensemble.

the Tomatoes: Ripe on the edge of falling apart but not falling over it. The ones in the picture are, clockwise from top: Aunt Ruby’s German Green, one of the sweetest heirlooms available; Japanese Black Trifele, a high-yielding, deep-flavored “black” and Sophie’s Choice.

the Mayonnaise: Homemade mayonnaise is all very well, but NOT on a BLT, which should be made with Hellmann’s. period. The jar in the picture contains a version made with lime juice for the Latino market and alas not available everywhere. Good though.

And thus we come to the ringer,
the Bread: That’s a ciabatta in the picture and it did make a tasty sandwich, but a naturally-leavened bread full of big holes in the European style is not right for a BLT.

What’s wanted is old fashioned Pullman bread, aka pain de mie, the bread that got debased into Wonder Bread. Properly made, the square, soft-crusted loaf has a very tight even crumb and just a tiny touch of sweetness to go with the blended flavors of milk and yeasted wheat.

Here is a link to Leslie's wonderful Cooking and Gardening Blog:

http://leslieland.com/blog/blt-summer-in-a-sandwich

Leslie Land, The New York Times

 

 

 

 

 

Vintage Wine

 

Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato Confit Sandwich

From our customer and friend, Lora Zarubin, Food & Wine Editor for LA, the Los Angeles Times Magazine

The intensity of the tomato confit transforms this BLT from the ordinary to the sublime. 

 

Makes 4 sandwiches.

4 slices tomato confit

12 slices smoked bacon

8 slices sourdough, 1/2 inch slices

4 tablespoons mayonnaise

4 fresh romaine lettuce leaves, washed and patted dry

Salt and pepper to taste

Tomato Confit

4 ripe but firm heirloom tomatoes, approximately 3/4 pound each

6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Pre heat oven to 200 degrees. 

Bring a pot of water, (large enough to hold all the tomatoes), to a boil. Cut an X across the back of each tomato. When the water is boiling plunge the tomatoes into the boiling water for 30 seconds. Remove and cool. When the tomatoes are cool enough to handle peel off the skin. Cut the tomatoes in quarters. Carefully with a sharp knife cut along the inside of each tomato and remove the heart and seeds.

Place the tomatoes cut side down in a non reactive baking pan large enough to hold all 24 pieces. Drizzle the olive oil over the tomatoes. With a pastry brush baste all the tomatoes with the olive oil. Bake uncovered for 1 hour. Remove and cool. Place the tomatoes in a container and cover with remaining oil. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Heat a skillet large enough for all the strips of bacon, or heat two skillets so that you can cook all the bacon at once. Cook the bacon until golden brown and crisp but not totally crisp and brown. Place the bacon on a plate lined with paper towels and place in a warm oven (175 degrees) until ready to assemble the sandwiches.

Toast the slices of bread and place on a chopping board in two rows. Spread 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise for every two slices. Place the romaine leaf folded on the bottom row of toasted bread. Place 4 slices of the tomato confit over the romaine leaves. 

Remove the bacon from the oven and place 3 slices of bacon over the tomato confit. Cover with the top slice of bread and slice in half. Serve immediately.

Lora Zarubin

LA, the Los Angeles Times Magazine

 

 

 

Pink Brandywine

 

The Ultimate California Tomato Sandwich

 

4 slices Nieman Ranch Applewood Smoked Bacon, fried crisp
Thick slices large Heirloom tomato (Aunt Gertie's Gold, Brandywine, other favourite)
Freshly ground 5-colour French peppercorns
Slices of just ripe Hass avocado
2 slices lightly toasted Sourdough San Francisco bread
Best Foods Mayo slathered on the bread
Daikon sprouts
Butter Lettuce leaf, optional
 
Open wide and enjoy!  Hold over sink or plate while eating.
 
Glass of California Chardonnay!
 
Mary-Anne Durkee, Alamo CA

 

Big Beef

The Oklahoma Special

Hi Laurel, it's me, Andy in Oklahoma!  The only way to make a real tomato sandwich is this:

Some fresh white bread and a thick slice (about 1/2 inch) of a tangy beefsteak type tomato. Slap the tomato between the slices of bread and chomp on down. That's it and that's all! Don't need any of that fancy stuff.

 

Andy Brewer, Oklahoma

 

 

Don't Need Lettuce in Arkansas...

Whole grain bread spread generously with mayo.  Three or four slices of really crisp bacon.  Thick slices of tomato.  Don't bother with lettuce.

Carolyn Ford from Arkansas

 

Black Prince

Black Prince

 

Texas Ham & Cheese & Tomato

My favorite tomato sandwich is Prosciutto ham, smoked provolone cheese, sweet onion relish and sliced Black Prince tomatoes on whole wheat bun. Add a few pickled peppers and it magically disappears!

Carol Moss, Texas

 

Cherokee Purple

Dev's Oklahoma Spam & Mater Sandwich

Slice the Spam ¼" thick and brown in an olive-oiled pan. Toast the bread, (Oatnut is an excellent choice.)

Slather real mayo on the toast--both slices.  Sprinkle with Chimayo chile powder (smoked Ancho powder is a close second.)

Two or three just-picked lettuce leaves. Half inch slices of Cherokee Purple, still warm from the garden.

Make the sandwich. Uncork a Sam Adams. Take the whole shebang out to the picnic table. Let the juice run down your elbows.

Repeat as necessary.

Dev in Oklahoma

 

Anna Russian

 

Janet's Mom's Maryland Favorite

My late mother's favorite was an open faced, grilled cheese sandwich with crisp bacon and a big slice of tomato.  She did them on a stovetop in a skillet but ran them under the broiler for a minute at the very end.

I am definitely needing a vine ripened tom in the worst way...

Janet Searcy Wintermute of Maryland, in honor of her mom, Josephine Murphy Searcy

(Editor's note: Janet confesses that during those days Velveeta was the cheese of choice. I confess, too. Hi, my name's Laurel and I like Velveeta. My family ate a lot of Velveeta in the 50's and 60's, eventually I learned about the delights of real cheese...wouldn't turn down a nice slice of Velveeta, though. ~ Laurel)

 

            Striped German

Some Canadian Variations on the Basics....

Boy, a person would think all we tomato lovers think about is tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes....

It looks like the basic sandwich is tomato, bacon, lettuce, mayo. That is a good base to start with. The little differences are the breads. White bread, pumpernickel, sourdough, rye, brown, toast, Italian.

The bacon must be smoked, though.  You can have bre'-fass bacon, side bacon, pee-meal bacon.  Oh!!!! and the bacon must be semi-crisp/crisp.  The lettuce has to be fresh, leaf lettuce, iceberg lettuce, head lettuce.

ANDS lots of mayo....you know what?  You could throw a fried egg in there and nobody would complain. Condiments could be salt, pepper, ketchup...does life get any better than this?

What about if we fry the bacon, then fry three large shrimp until tender. Put that on the lettuce, tomato, Mayo, and put that on a Hoagie bun??? Or as we say in Canada, on a submarine bun.

OOOOHHHHHHhhhh.... I'm almost tempted to go the A & P and buy some tomatoes....

Come on summer..

Stan in Canada

 

Sunset Red Horizon Tomato 

Sunset's Red Horizon

Sunny's No-Bread Hawaiian Special

One thick slice big, red, juicy delicious tomato.

Fresh ground Mediterranean Sea Salt.

Fresh ground black pepper.

Put salt and pepper on tomato slice. Kick back, eat and enjoy!

Sunny Hills of Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii

 

Lenny & Gracie's Kentucky Heirloom

Heaven on Toast

My favorite tomato sandwich is YOURS!  LOL.  I'm hungry now.

I like OroWheat bread toasted, with a big ol juicy slice of tomato, like the Alpine Lace Tomato, fresh lettuce from the garden, a little mayo, salt and pepper. It's heaven on toast.

Janet A., Keeper of the Seeds, Buena Park, California

 

Sara Black

Caprese Style Grilled Tomato Sandwich

with Mozzarella and Basil

Here's a great chance to do something different with your Double grill/George Foreman (style) grill. 

Fresh Baguette

Olive oil, any type

Kosher salt for sprinklin’

Fresh mozzarella cheese

Fresh basil

Heirloom Tomato of your choice, depending on what you’re in the mood for.

Preheat your grill

Slice your baguette into 1” angled slices/crostinis.  (The ‘angling’ adds length and looks fancy).

Brush each side of crostini with just a bit of olive oil, place onto large plate

Place slice of mozzarella on ½ of the crostinis, ensure slice of cheese is not too big as to make bigger mess on grill.

Place basil leaf or leaves on top of mozzarella.

Place slice/piece/chunk/fragment – whatever you can find of the tomato you told no one to nibble - onto the basil.

Sprinkle a pinch of salt onto tomato.  Finally, add a crostini to the top.  Isn’t it cute??

Place one or 2 ‘sandwiches’ onto grill and close.  These are your test subjects.  Grill, eat, discuss.

Adrienne Park-Tucker, Saugus, California

 

   Japanese Black Trifele

Cousin Katie's Creation from Illinois

2 slices of fresh, thick bakery bread

A nice big slice of your favorite tomato

A little Miracle Whip and Dijon mustard

Add maple flavored bacon and fresh spinach or just a piece of fresh crisp lettuce, salt and pepper.

Katie in Effingham, Ill. 

 

Mortgage Lifter, Radiator Charlie’s

 

 

 

 

 

Mortgage Lifter

Charlie Kemp's Saucy Sandwich

Take 2 slices of whole wheat bread and toast them. Butter each piece.

1 Big slice of tomato
Some lettuce, your favorite
1 slice of sweet onion
Salt and Pepper
Now for my sauce:
Mix in small bowl:
2 tsp Miracle Whip
3-4 drops of hot sauce
3-4 drops of soy sauce
1/2 tsp Ketchup
And just a touch of Pineapple Juice
Put it all together, set back and enjoy.

Charlie Kemp, Illinois.

 

 

              Black Krim

A Tasty Cottage Cheese Creation

Just spread some cottage cheese on your favorite whole wheat bread, top with a slice of tomato, sprinkle on some salt and pepper, and top with another slice of bread.

My mom has been eating these as long as I can remember, especially when her tomatoes from her garden started to ripen.

She would also add a tomato slice to her grilled cheese sandwiches before grilling. Also yummy!

Ed and Mary Ogershok, Lake Dallas Texas

 

 

Delicious

Delicious

Some Joyful California Creations

Favorite tomato sandwiches...is there a bad tomato sandwich? Impossible!
 
SANDWICH #1
2 slices of your favorite bread spread with mayo
Sprinkle with celery salt and a little black pepper; pepper is optional ~ celery salt isn't!
Add your favorite slice of tomato, or for the kids and for tea parties I dice the tomatoes and quarter the sandwiches...it makes them easier to eat.
Sometimes we add a slice of Havarti cheese ~ it's delicious either way!
 
SANDWICH #2
Fresh baguette, crunchy on the outside, soft inside
Slices of Mozzarella Cheese
Fresh Basil Leaves
Slices of favorite Tomato
Assemble sandwich and drizzle with your favorite Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing or toss ingredients with dressing first, then put in baguette.
Cut into individual sizes. When you taste it you'll make them bigger next time!
 
This recipe can also be made into a salad.  Just dice instead of slice the tomato and serve the baguette on the side to dip into balsamic vinaigrette-my husband's favorite summer meal.
 
Hope you enjoy them!
 

Joy Hamari, Copperopolis, California

      Kellogg's Breakfast

 

Mom & Dad's Connecticut Sandwich
 

I grew up on this sandwich, it really doesn't get much simpler!

Fresh White Bread (homemade if possible )
Hellman's Mayonnaise
Salt
Pepper
Thick slice of your favorite straight from the garden tomato!!

It's the simple things in life that bring such joy!!

Matt & Loring Kidd, Connecticut
 

Cindy's West Virginia

Debbie's Buttered Delight

Two slices fresh white bread, toasted
Room temperature butter (real organic butter)
Slather the butter on one piece of the toast (while the toast is still warm)
One thick slice of your best garden tomato (or a couple of small thick slices) depending on the size of the tomato.
Salt
Pepper
Add the other piece of toast and chomp down.
 
Sometimes I will add a little cucumber or bell pepper to mine, but my father probably rolls over in this grave when I do that!
 
Debbie, West Virginia

 

                

                  German Giant

 

                                                           Suzanne's Summer Garden Sandwich

This is a sandwich that I've eaten for years, as does my daughter now. 

I have to have all of the "stuffing" for the sandwich fresh out of the garden. (Except the sweet onion which I don't grow)

 
Two slices of good whole wheat bread.
Slather  (generously) the mayo (Best Foods) on both slices.
Cut a 1/2" slice of your very best tomato fresh from the garden.
Sprinkle with a little salt & pepper & spread with more mayo.
 
Cut a sweet onion into a 1/4" slice & top the tomato.
Spread onion with a little more Mayo.
 
Peel a "Dill Sized" pickling cuke & slice lengthwise into thick slices.
Place on the onion.  Sprinkle with just a little more salt.
 
Top the whole thing with the second slice of bread.
 
HANG OVER THE SINK TO EAT, CAUSE YOU'RE GOING TO DRIP!
 
ENJOY!!!
 
Suzanne,   Oregon

 

Vintage Wine

The Sourdough Special

My dad was an airline pilot and he used to fly to San Francisco regularly.  He also grew wonderful beefsteak tomatoes.  As a result, I grew up waiting eagerly for my favorite summer sandwich:

Two slices of fresh San Francisco Sourdough Bread spread with Mayo.

Two slices of beefsteak tomato (salt and pepper optional!) 

And welcome to summer!

Kim Ellsworth-Evans, Warrenton, VA

 

Product Image

Hawaiian Pineapple

Cream Cheese Double Delight From New York

Here are 2 sandwiches that my mother made every summer when the 
tomatoes were ripe from the garden. The first you can make it with either 
a good pumpernickel or good white bread and the second is best with a 
good white bread. Both are simple.

Just 4 things are needed:

Good bread (we don't toast it)
Good tomatoes warm from the garden
Red onion
Cream Cheese

Spread the cream cheese on the bread, place the tomato slices on top, 
place sliced onion on the tomato, place bread on top of the onion 
(more cream cheese if you like) and eat.

Second one:

Good bread
Good tomatoes warm from the garden
Sliced hard boiled eggs
Good Swiss cheese
Hellman's mayo (for the east coast) and Best Food's (for the west 
coast)
salt and pepper

Assemble and eat!

Fran from New York

 

Green Zebra

Kariamu's Ambrosia

Hi Laurel!

I guess I'd qualify as a new customer since I'm headed to your plant 
sale today!  Here's my favorite way to enjoy tomatoes...

Thinly slice fresh-from-the-garden tomatoes.
Take a nice, airy, crispy croissant and slice in half horizontally.  
Toast it.
Onto that toasty, buttery goodness, pile the tomato slices, drizzle 
the whole thing with very good olive oil, dust with salt and pepper.  

Spread your elbows wide to avoid having tomato juice rolling down 
your arms, take a bite and try not to be distracted by the celestial 
choirs you hear every time you enjoy a real tomato sandwich! 

Oh  yeah, and if you want to get fancy and do this California style, add 
avocado slices and the very best crispy bacon you can find.  When in 
Arkansas, I go with locally-made Petit Jean brand pepper-smoked 
bacon.  Pure bliss!

Kariamu of California

 

Gold Dust

 

Mom's Garden-Fresh Indiana OLT  (Onion, Lettuce & Tomato)

My Mother raised me on this garden fresh sandwich.

Two slices fresh bread, toasted or untoasted
Room temperature butter (real butter)
Slather the butter on one piece of the bread or toast
One thick slice of your best garden tomato (or a couple of small thick slices) depending on the size of the tomato.
Two green onions cut in half; use both the green tops and white onion part
Salt
Pepper
 

Enjoy !

Joe Wootan, Bloomington, In.

 

Berkeley Tie Dye

 

PB&T

Peanut Butter, natural

Your favorite bread

Two think slices of your favorite beefsteak type heirloom tomato

Sea Salt

Before the snickering dies down, I want to say that if you haven't tasted this amazing combination, stop snickering.  You will thank me for this revelation that I have been turning Heirloom growers on to for a long time.
 
As the name implies, this is a PB&J without the J.  Just spread a natural peanut butter (No Skippy or other hydrogenated concoction) on your favorite bread.  Almost doesn't matter what bread, although wheat seems to get the edge here.  Add two thick slices of your fave beefsteak size Heirloom.  Sprinkle a little sea salt, cover with second slice of bread and start making another one.
 
It has taken me years to figure out why this is so good.   The answer is elegantly simple.  Its amazing for the same reason a PB&J is such an American favorite.  Tomatoes are fruit and so is jelly. The fruitiness of the tomato creates an even better taste chemistry than Welch's Concord Grape Jelly.

So, laugh all you will, my friends, but remember, he who laughs last, laughs best.

I'll wait for the applause to die down.

Dennis Horlick, Pacific Palisades CA

 

 

Caspian Pink

Roasted Tomato Sauce

From Mary Drabik in Minnesota

 5 pounds assorted heirloom tomatoes, cored and quartered

A small head of garlic, cut across the equator

3 basil sprigs

2 oregano sprigs

3 thyme sprigs

1-2 fresh, hot, thin-walled peppers  (I used zagary peppers) optional

¼ cup olive oil

1-tablespoon salt

1-teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Combine above ingredients and roast in a roasting pan for 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on how watery your tomatoes are.

While the tomatoes are roasting: 

Melt: 3 tablespoons butter in a large pot.   Gently cook the following vegetables in the butter  until translucent. 

1 pound onion cut into large dice

1 cup chopped celery

1 cup chopped carrots

 Add the roasted tomato mixture to the vegetables and cook together on a low simmer for 30 minutes.  Use an immersion blender to blend the sauce or cool and blend in a blender of food processor.  Return to heat and reduce the sauce to desired consistency.  This sauce is great and freezes well.  Yield: 2 quarts

 

Marinated Tomato and Cheese Pasta Sauce

From Mary Drabik in Minnesota

4 ripe large tomatoes cut into ½ inch cubes.  I do not seed the tomatoes.  The sauce may be a little more watery but the flavor is TERRIFIC!

 1 pound Brie Cheese, rind removed, cut into irregular pieces

1 cup fresh basil leaves cut into a thin strips (or use small basil leaves from the globe varieties and leave the leaves whole

3 cloves garlic, finely minced

2/3 cup best quality olive oil

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. 

Combine all ingredients in a large serving bowl.  Let stand covered at room temperature for at least 2 hours.

 Cook 1 pound pasta and keep warm.  Stir in the sauce immediately and serve with parmesan cheese, if desired.

  

Chocolate Stripes

 

School Daze! Terrific Tomato Topping for Baquette/Crostini

Hi Laurel,
A mom at the school where I teach grows amazing heirloom tomatoes and makes this tomato dip every year for the teachers.  As best I can figure out, it is:

3-4 lbs largeish fresh heirloom tomatoes, peeled and diced (works best if they are perfectly ripe and of many different varieties!)

3 cloves garlic, minced
 

3 tbsp capers
 
3 tbsp chopped parsley
 
good fruity olive oil
 
balsamic vinegar
 
salt and pepper
 
For serving: 2 baguette loaves
 
Mix the diced tomatoes, minced garlic, capers and parsley in a large bowl.  Add a generous splash of the olive oil and a slightly less generous splash of the balsamic vinegar.  Season with salt and pepper to taste. 
 
Stir well, then taste a bit of the dip.  You can adjust the proportions of any of the ingredients as you please. 
 
Serve as a topping on thin slices of gently warmed or toasted baguette.
:)
 
Thanks!
Jane Rieder
 

 

 

Send your recipe, Laurel will post it here!

Homepage: www.heirloomtomatoplants.com