I’m celebrating the start of summer and the beautiful weather here in sunny (at least for today), cool Seattle!! I am also celebrating the beautiful heirloom tomato!! Before I really knew how to eat these suckers and appreciate them, I got an heirloom tomato hook-up from a friend at work. . he got me a huge box/crate full of heirloom tomatoes. . all for a whooping $7. If you are not familiar with heirloom tomatoes, they are more expensive than regular tomatoes so – to get a box full at that price was AMAZING and quite a steal.
Because I had so many, I was going to make a tomato sauce and my co-worker, Paulo- quickly corrected me and was like “Dude, no.” Heirloom tomatoes are best raw, thrown in a salad or simply sliced and drizzled with good olive oil, balsamic vinegar, freshly ground pepper, and sea salt.
“Unlike mass-produced tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes are breed with unique characteristics that have been passed down for generations. There are countless varieties that differ in color, shape, and size, as well as maturation times.
They range from the hefty, irregularly shaped, explosively juicy cherokee purple to the tiny, tart, and firm green zebra. Because heirloom tomato cultivars come in early-, mid-, and late-season varieties, pay attention to what’s available at your local market that day. Generally speaking, choose tomatoes that are firm, heavy for their size, and free of any open cracks or wounds.” Enjoy them the way I do most often, which is simply sliced and drizzled with good olive oil, freshly ground pepper, and flaky sea salt. To read more on Heirloom Tomatoes and how to best prepare them, click here.
So, in order to properly devour these bad boys- fresh– I made a garden sandwich. Hope you enjoy!
Open-Faced Garden Sandwich
- Bread/baguette (I used my fave olive oil & rosemary bread)
- Cheese (optional)
- Lettuce (butter, red leaf or romaine- whatever you have)
- Bell peppers (yellow or orange)
- Heirloom tomatoes (if you can't get any heirloom, any tomato will do)
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Balsamic vinegar
- Salt & pepper
- Lemon or lime juice (optional)
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
- Wash and chop/slice all of your veggies; set aside
- Heat or toast your bread (with the cheese on if preferred)
- Spread on the hummus and assemble. I assembled in this order: cheese, hummus, lettuce, cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes
- Optional: in a small separate bowl, mix a little of the lettuce and cilantro together, season with salt and pepper and squeeze some lime juice over it all. Toss.
- Place the salad mixture on top of your sandwich
- Drizzle a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar over the top of the sandwich (no need to over-do it; a little will do). Enjoy!!