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10 Ways to Upgrade Your Tomato Sandwich

Rachel Johnson

The tomato sandwich is a summer classic, which some might even call a staple. Traditionally, it's a strict ingredient list of only bread, fresh tomatoes, mayonnaise, salt, and pepper. But we believe it might be time for an upgrade.

The best tomatoes are found during the summer, specifically the ones grown in your backyard or hand-chosen from a stand at the farmers' market. Avoid the grocery store and their sad refrigerated tomatoes at all costs. Even though the original tomato sandwich "recipe" is beloved, sometimes things are in need of an update. Here, ten ways we upgrade our tomato sandwiches:

  1. Flavor the Salt
    A sprinkling of salt and pepper is a must for tomato sandwiches. But to really boost your sandwich, try a flavored salt. Garlic salt is perfect for getting your feet wet, or you can go all out and try more adventurous flavors like our Olive Salt or Roasted Habanero Salt.
  2. Sprinkle On Fresh Herbs
    Pretty much any dish benefits from a sprinkling of fresh herbs, and tomato sandwiches are no exception. While tomatoes are ripe, so are the majority of herbs. Fresh basil, oregano, or parsley are just a few options for boosting your sandwich's flavor. 
  3. Switch Up the Bread
    Most tomato sandwich traditionalists would swear by cheap white processed bread, but since we have a deep love for whole grains (and a distinct distaste for flavorless loaves), we recommend choosing something with a bit more nutritional and flavorful oomph. Rye, pumpernickel, sourdough, spelt, honey wheat, and regular whole-wheat bread are all great options.
  4. Flavor the Mayonnaise
    While some have intense loyalty to certain mayonnaise brands, we just recommend sticking with a canola-oil based mayo. Amp up the flavor though with the addition of other delicious foods like Sriracha, whole-grain mustard, wasabi, roasted garlic cloves, or fresh horseradish.
  5. Use Different Tomato Varieties
    Depending on the region you live in, your tomato choices may vary. A classic choice is heirloom or beefsteak tomatoes, but others like cherry or campari tomatoes work well, too. You can even get wild and use different colors or varieties for a multi-colored and layered sandwich.
  6. Toast the Bread
    Toasted bread can hold up better against the onslaught of tomato juices. Lightly toast the bread before adding any condiments or tomatoes, and then build as you regularly would. Or for more flavor, grill your bread to add a smoky twist. 
  7. Salt the Tomatoes
    If you're like us, and have most likely been planning this tomato sandwich all day, some thinking ahead can do you good. Place sliced tomatoes in a colander and lightly salt about 30 minutes before you want to eat your sandwich. Pat dry and then build the sandwich as you regularly would. The salt will draw out excess moisture, leaving you with a flavorful, but not soggy, sandwich. 
  8. Roast the Tomatoes 
    To get a serious burst of flavor from tomatoes, try roasting them. Roast sliced and salted tomatoes for 15 minutes on each side in a 400 degree oven. This works especially well when it's early or late tomato season, when they're not at their true peak. 
  9. Skip the Bread
    Not everyone can eat bread, but that doesn't mean they should miss out on the joy of summer tomatoes. Using lettuce leaves or collard greens in place of bread results in a fresh take that is reminiscent of grab-and-go salad. 
  10. Fry the Tomatoes
    Southern classics collide with the addition of fried green tomatoes. Although not traditional in color or preparation, fried green tomatoes make a tart and crunchy change for the better.