Kitchen sink tomato sandwich

Published 4:25 pm Tuesday, June 18, 2019

very precious member of my church called me aside a week or so ago. “I thought about you the other day. We had our first ripe tomato from the garden and I made a tomato sandwich. It was soooo good.”

I held out my hand and said, “Where’s my tomato?” Is there any simpler or more delicious sandwich than the kitchen sink tomato sandwich?

I looked up “tomato sandwich” and there are lots of ideas about them. It’s a fairly popular sandwich, but the best ideas are those that come from Southerners.

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As an example, the New York Times, or as the President calls them the “failing” New York Times, has a complicated recipe for their version of the tomato sandwich. I shouldn’t have to tell you they don’t know squat about tomato sandwiches.

First of all, their recipe uses four slices of bread, two that are grilled, rubbed with tomato paste, and drizzled with olive oil. On top of that, they suggested Miracle Whip as the “salve.” No wonder they’re failing.

Southern Living magazine ought to know better with a name like Southern Living. However, they have an article on the simple tomato sandwich that begins with this title: “17 Ways to Build a Better Tomato Sandwich.” I should have, at least, perused the article, but there are NOT 17 ways to build a better tomato sandwich.

Besides, you don’t “build” a sandwich. You “make” a sandwich. I can just imagine what my momma would have said if I had asked her to “Build me a tomato sandwich?”

According to a very reasonable article in the Bitter Southerner on the simple tomato sandwich, writer Chuck Reece quotes a Texas songwriter by the name of Guy Clark (“Desperados Waiting for a Train”). Up in the mornin’, out in the garden; Get you a ripe ‘un, don’t get a hard ‘un.

Reece knows what he’s talking about. The perfect tomato sandwich is not complicated. Only four ingredients are needed. He doesn’t include the tomato as an ingredient. It goes without saying that tomato sandwiches need a tomato.

Buy some white bread. I understand that some will prefer a different kind of bread. Other sandwiches might be okay with wheat or multi-grained bread, but I’m not talking about “other” kinds of sandwiches. A tomato sandwich cries out for store-bought, fresh and soft white bread.

Open the bread and skip the “heel.” The heel is the first piece of bread. Go to the regular slices and put them on a plate. Paper plates are okay. Fancy china is not!

The next ingredient is very important. Make sure you have some real mayonnaise. I won’t argue the brand. That’s too complicated. Just make sure you don’t use Miracle Whip. It’s  my honest and accurate opinion, but Miracle Whip shouldn’t even be in the fridge. I don’t know where it should be, but definitely not in the kitchen and, for sure, not on a sandwich!

Slather the mayonnaise on both pieces of bread. “Slather” means smear liberally. That might be the only time I use the word liberal. Just put a lot of mayonnaise on the bread and, then, the slices of tomato.

The number of slices of tomato is up to you. Two slices always leave the corners uncovered. Be sure to cover the corners. Personally, I use a third slice and cut it in half and put each half on the corners. Don’t forget the salt and pepper.

I call it a kitchen sink tomato sandwich because it is best to eat it over the sink. It’s quite a messy sandwich. And don’t be a-wearing a long sleeve shirt!