Sorry this photo sucks, I did not have time to go buy a tomato to take a new photo.

Sorry this photo sucks, I did not have time to go buy a tomato to take a new photo.
Photo: Claire Lower

Tomato sandwiches are vastly under-appreciated. So under-appreciated, that you can’t even find a good stock photo of one (which is both Southern and Harriet the Spy erasure). Just as recently as a few months ago, some people who did not know what they were talking about tried to drag this (100% correct) young woman for making a proper tomato sandwich. If you aren’t from the Southern US (or haven’t read Harriet the Spy), it’s very possible you’ve never had this simple, perfect sandwich, but you should remedy that this summer.

Making this sandwich with bland tomatoes is not an option. Because there are only four ingredients involved—white bread, mayo, tomato, salt—this sandwich is only good during peak tomato season, when the tomatoes are sweet and flavorful.

I’ve explained my method before, but it bears repeating:

The bread should be cheap, white, and squishy (it should stick to the roof of your mouth), and you should spread mayo on both slices. The mayo is the only thing I change up. Right now I’m very into this Korean mayo that came in a bag. (I would tell you the name, but it was printed on the bag, which I threw away to get to the bottle inside.) The mayo adds flavor, but it also prevents the sandwich from sogging out immediately.

Slice the tomato—preferably the moment you get home from the market—place the slices on the mayo-coated bread, and season with Maldon salt. Do not add cheese. Do not add basil. I guess you can add pepper, but I never do.

Eating it off of a Blue Willow plate is encouraged, though not required.