Sometimes simplicity really is best. I am a firm believer in meals with only a few ingredients, as long as it’s not a compilation of processed foods masquerading as something more complicated. High-quality linguine in a sauce of butter, onion, garlic, and fresh-cracked pepper is one example, and this sandwich is another: just one slice of delicious bread, high-quality mayonnaise (in this case, homemade), fresh tomato, salt, and pepper. Sure, you can pretty this up any number of ways, such as with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, a base of fresh basil leaves, or thick, crisp fried bacon. But the beauty of this sandwich is that you don’t have to.
The only thing that really complicates this sandwich is the homemade mayonnaise, and I will echo legions of food writers in that it is absolutely worth it (though I have made the sandwich before with jarred mayonnaise, and it’s pretty tasty that way, too!). It’s softer, creamier, and has at once a stronger and more delicate flavor. I made mine using the whisk attachment on my hand mixer, and a squeeze bottle to slowly drip, then stream, the vegetable oil into the egg yolk for an easy emulsion. I know this is a process that daunts many home cooks, but I urge that it is totally, completely doable. Today was the first time I made it, and in about 15-20 minutes, I had a batch all ready to go.
Simple Tomato Sandwich (makes 1 sandwich)
- 1 medium slice bread – I used my favorite rosemary bread from a local bakery, but any will do, although I’ll say plain white sandwich bread may be a little delicate to hold up to the tomato
- 3 slices from a small, ripe tomato
- 2 tbsp. mayonnaise – I used this recipe as written
- salt and pepper to taste
- Lightly toast your bread slice, and let cool to room temperature, so the mayonnaise won’t melt on the bread.
- Spread with the mayonnaise, and top with the tomato slices. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- That’s it!