(Or How to Make a Sandwich in Fourteen Steps!)
I grew up eating tomato sandwiches with tomatoes still warm from the sun. There was nothing like picking a completely ripe tomato and immediately eating it in a sandwich. There is something magical about a sweet and acidic tomato with salt on bread with mayo.
When it’s summer time, I crave tomato sandwiches. Since I’ve lived in Colorado for over 20 years, I’ve found you can take the girl out of the South and she’ll learn some new tricks with her favorite foods.
- 1 large ripe tomato (Beefsteak or Heirloom)
- Homemade sandwich bread loaf (I love oatmeal and wheat bread and will publish a post on how to make it.)
- 2 tablespoons, more or less to taste, of good quality mayonnaise (either homemade or Hellmann’s or Best Foods or if you can get it, Blue Plate)
- 2 slices of bacon (optional)
- 1 or 2 large fire roasted chili pepper (Anaheim peppers for those who like mild chilies. Hatch chili’s or other spicy chilies that the roaster has for those of us who crave hot peppers. I love going to Heinie’s Market in Wheat Ridge, CO – They have a great selection of just roasted peppers. )
- 2 or 3 leaves of your favorite lettuce
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Serrated knife, to cut the bread and tomato, skillet or microwave to cook bacon, salad spinner or kitchen towel, dinner knife
- If using bacon, cook bacon in skillet until crispy or use leftover oven cooked bacon from breakfast (haha – whoever has leftover bacon from breakfast?) You can also cook the bacon in the microwave.
- Cut 2 pieces of 3/4 to 1 inch thick slices of bread from a homemade sandwich bread loaf with the serrated knife.
- Cut your tomato into 1/2 inch slices with the serrated knife by placing the tomato on its side so that the stem end faces to the right (for right handed) or left (for left handed). Slice off a small piece of the tomato parallel to the stem and top of the tomato to remove the stem end. Make 1/2 inch parallel cuts from the top of the tomato for thick slices. To cover the bread, you may have to cut one of the tomato slices into pieces.
- Remove the stem and slit open one side of the roasted chili pepper. Remove the seeds and the roasted skin from the pepper. You can rinse the pepper to remove any seeds left behind. If one chili pepper won’t cover the slice of bread, clean a second roasted chili pepper.
- Wash the lettuce and then dry the lettuce, either by patting it dry with a clean kitchen towel or by spinning it a salad spinner.
- If you liked your bread toasted, toast it now. I generally don’t toast the bread for tomato sandwiches, but Bruce does.
- Using a dinner knife, spread as much mayonnaise as you want on one side of one of the slices of bread. Repeat for the second slice of bread. I like a very thin coat of mayonnaise and Bruce loves a thick coating of mayonnaise.
- Put the sandwich’s bottom slice of bread with mayonnaise side up on a plate. Open the roasted chili pepper so it will lay flat. Place the flat roasted chili pepper over the sandwich’s bottom side. If it doesn’t cover the bread or you want more chili flavor, add a second roasted chili pepper, so the bread is covered. It is fine to overlap the roasted chili peppers.
- Optional: Break the two slices of bacon in half, lengthwise and put on top of the chili pepper(s).
- Add with the lettuce on top of the bacon or chili pepper(s).
- Top the lettuce with the tomato slice(s). If it is a really big tomato, you may only need one slice of tomato.
- Add salt and pepper to taste to the tomato slice. Do not leave out the salt! Salt is important to bring out the flavor of the tomato.
- Top the sandwich with the second piece of bread, mayonnaise side facing the inside of the the sandwich.
- Cut the sandwich in half with the serrated knife. Enjoy!
To make this vegetarian leave off the bacon.
If you want to make this vegan, you will need to use vegan mayo and leave off the bacon.