My 1-Ingredient Upgrade for Tomato Sandwiches—I'm Eating Them All Summer Long

As a Southerner, I can tell you that tomatoes and mayonnaise on white bread are practically their own food group.

<p>Simply Recipes / Getty Images</p>

Simply Recipes / Getty Images

As far back as I can remember, I’ve been in love with tomatoes. Some of my favorite early memories are of plucking a warm tomato off the vine in my dad’s garden and eating it right where I stood.

As a Southerner, I can tell you that tomatoes and mayonnaise on white bread are practically their own food group. I’ve already eaten what may be a lifetime supply of them. Usually, I like them just as they are—three simple, perfect ingredients. But occasionally, I will give the classic a little upgrade by swirling homemade pesto into the mayonnaise, and when I do, it turns the humble sandwich into something extraordinary.

Pesto Is The Best Upgrade for Tomato Sandwiches

In the summer, I can count on always having two things in my kitchen—tomatoes and basil (from my garden and frequent trips to the farmers market). I combine them in all kinds of ways, from Caprese salads to pasta.

To help preserve my bounty of basil, I make batches of pesto, combining the fresh basil leaves with Parmesan cheese, garlic, walnuts (I use them instead of pine nuts, but you do you), a squeeze of lemon juice, and olive oil. That pesto cozies up to freshly baked focaccia, gets fried into my morning eggs, and finds a happy home in my beloved tomato sandwiches, where I mix it into the mayonnaise (always Duke’s) to add another layer of bright, herbaceous flavor.

<p>Simply Recipes / Getty Images </p>

Simply Recipes / Getty Images

Tips for Making Great Tomato Sandwiches

  • Only use the freshest tomatoes! If you’ve got a three-ingredient sandwich, each ingredient is important, but none more so than the tomato itself, which should be juicy, plump, and ripe, ideally from a backyard garden or farmers market.

  • Use a serrated knife to slice the tomato through the center horizontally, so you’ve got approximately 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch slices.

  • Add pesto mayo to both pieces of bread. Spreading a layer of mayonnaise on each slice of bread keeps the sandwich from getting soggy before you can finish it.

  • Adjust the pesto to suit your taste. I add about a tablespoon of pesto to a cup of mayonnaise, but the recipe is easily adapted to your preferences. No wrong answers!

  • Pesto is best when it’s fresh, so when I make a big batch, I like to freeze it in two to three-ounce containers, so I can use a single serving at a time.

Read the original article on Simply Recipes.