Much to our surprise, we’ve got more tomatoes than we can handle. With only two plants baring the big ones (Celebrity and Beefsteak), I didn’t think it could happen, but they’ve invaded my kitchen and have got me scrambling to use them before they go bad. I’ve been searching for recipes that utilize several at once, like Shakshuka, and tomatoes are making their way into every meal in some form or another. Of course, they’ll be going into batches of this too!
One simple, but unique, recipe I stumbled across in my quest is this twist on a tomato sandwich that has got to the best I’ve ever had! Instead of tomatoes sandwiched between two slices of bread (that’s so yesterday!), we have bread sandwiched between tomatoes. And this is no ordinary bread—it’s parmesan crusted so you get that amazing taste transformation from regular delicious parmesan to the golden toasted, slightly crisp over the top scrumptiousness achieved simply from a few minutes in a hot pan.
It’s up to you what bread to use, but make it good quality and thick cut, about ½ inch (gluten-free works too). I used large slices of marbled rye and it was amazing! Also, break out your special extra virgin olive oil for this one. The fruity and flavorful stuff you reserve for drizzling or dipping—you’ll be glad you did. Oh, and use the good flaky salt too, if you’ve got it. Add a fried egg on top and you’ve got breakfast. Enjoy!
Inside Out Tomato Sandwiches
2 slices good quality bread (Italian, sour dough, marbled rye, rustic whole grain, or gluten-free) 1/2 inch thick
Extra-virgin olive oil (the good stuff you reserve for drizzling and dipping)
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
4 slices ripe tomato (beefsteak or heirloom work well), 1/2 inch thick
Flaky sea salt, such as Maldon
Freshly ground black pepper
Fresh basil leaves, torn if large
Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat and brush with a bit of oil (you could also use a non-stick pan with no oil). Brush one side of each slice of bread with oil, then pat half the cheese evenly over the two slices of bread and push down so the cheese adheres.
Place bread slices coated side down in prepared skillet. While the bottom browns, brush the tops of the bread slices with oil and pat with remaining cheese. When the cheese on the bottom has melted and is golden brown, gently flip and cook until the other side browns, about five minutes total.
To serve, place one tomato slice on each of two plates. Sprinkle each tomato with a little red wine vinegar, then drizzle with oil; season with flaky salt and freshly ground pepper. Layer with toasted bread and remaining tomato slice. Sprinkle with vinegar, then drizzle with oil; season with salt and pepper. Top with basil and serve with a fork and knife (unless you want to get messy). Makes two sandwiches.