Tomatoes and bread certainly aren’t a concept unique to the southeastern United States. I mean, Italians have bruschetta, Mexicans have tortillas and salsa, and so on.
But the Southern tomato sandwich, like its foreign counterparts, represents simplicity and resourcefulness characteristic of rural farming areas – where the weather is warm, the tomatoes are plentiful… and money is not always.
But these days, we can’t leave well enough alone! And after all, while the tomato sandwich holds its own, I think it deserves elevating once in a while for parties or just because it looks pretty. It deserves celebrating!
Here’s a simple idea for how to make the tomato sandwich just a little fancier. Just be sure to assemble right before serving, otherwise the bread will get soggy.
How-To: Make Tomato Sandwiches
1. Flavor the mayonnaise. Below is a simple recipe for Smokey Mayonnaise – but you don’t need a recipe; you can get creative and come up with your own version!
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise (I use Vegannaise)
- 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
- squeeze of lemon juice from one wedge
- 3 cloves roasted garlic (oven-roasted, for creamy texture and mild flavor)
- 3 tablespoons fresh parsley and/or cilantro, finely chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
Puree all ingredients in blender or food processor.
2. Spread mayonnaise on sliced bread, then place tomato slices on the bread.
3. Use cookie cutters to create pretty shaped sandwiches.