Thursday, July 26, 2012

Grilled Tomato Sandwiches

Buy the freshest field tomatoes you can, and turn them into this simple grilled sandwich; with height-of-summer tomatoes this good, who needs grilled cheese?  Whether from the farmers' markets, a roadside stand, or right from the farm... the fresher the better.  For the sourdough bread, any pre-sliced brand will do, but be sure to read ingredient lists for sneaky items like honey or nonfat milk.  I used the whole wheat sourdough from Vermont Bread CompanyRudi's bread also makes a sourdough that is suitable for vegans.

  • 12 (3/4-inch thick) slices tomato
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 12 (1-ounce) slices toasted sourdough bread*
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons vegan mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 3 cups trimmed arugula
1. Sprinkle 1 side of the tomato slices with 1/8 teaspoon salt.  Place on paper towels, salted sides down, and let stand for 10 minutes.  Sprinkle the other side of the tomatoes with 1/8 teaspoon salt and repeat the procedure.

2. Grill the tomato slices and bread slices on an outdoor grill or indoor grill pan coated with cooking spray for 2 minutes, turning over halfway through.  Remove from the grill, and sprinkle the tomato slices with a final 1/4 teaspoon salt, the balsamic vinegar, and the black pepper.

3. Meanwhile, whisk together the mayonnaise, lemon juice, and garlic in a bowl.  Spread 1 tablespoon mayonnaise mixture over each of 6 toast slices.  Top each of those slices with 2 tomato slices, 1/2 cup arugula, and an additional toast slice.

The sandwiches are best served immediately, while warm, and before the tomato makes the bread soggy.

Perfect for a light supper with a bowl of Amy's alphabet soup:

*Toast the bread slices while the salted tomatoes are standing.  I like toasting under the broiler for just over a minute on each side.

Nutrition Info:
6 servings (1 sandwich), Calories 215 

Tasting Notes:
Exactly as fresh and flavorful as I was imagining and hoping.  The tomatoes became warm and soft on the grill (but not watery, thanks to the stint draining on paper towels), and are a great contrast to the peppery arugula and slight sourness of the sourdough bread.  I would definitely use more mayonnaise mixture next time, as the sandwich was a touch dry.  I also would toss the arugula in just a touch of balsamic vinegar, because the vinegar ran off the tomatoes and the flavor was lost.  I would like to try Rudi's sourdough next time, since it isn't made with whole wheat; the whole wheat sourdough I chose tonight felt a touch too... whole wheaty.


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