Heirloom Tomato Panini…Relax and Simplify

by on July 25, 2011

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The temptation to sneak in a few slices of thick-cut bacon on these Heirloom Tomato Panini was so strong. I so badly wanted to just chop a little fresh basil from my garden and mix it in with the homemade mayo. Just one little piece of fresh mozzarella? But everything I’ve been hearing about the good old-fashioned tomato sandwich is that its beauty is in its simplicity. So I stayed strong.

Big slices of summer heirloom tomatoes, homemade olive oil mayo and sourdough bread…seasoned with a little flaked sea salt and pepper…that’s it.

And it honestly is all you need. I couldn’t have imagined how such simple ingredients – and so few of of them – could combine into such blissful sweet, salty, briny bites. You know me, I’m a meat and cheese kind of girl. That a tomato sandwich stopped me in my tracks is kind of huge.

I know that a lot of people swear by regular store-bought mayo for this type of sandwich, but I just couldn’t resist the opportunity to try out the perfectly inexact mayonnaise-making method that Amy Finley described in her food memoir, How to Eat a Small Country. After countless failed attempts at following mayonnaise recipes to the letter, Amy finally threw caution to the wind and mirrored the actions of a confident, relaxed friend who used no measurements or special techniques. Voilà - perfect mayonnaise! I gave it a try and was just amazed.

Relax and simplify…I could get used to this.

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

1 fittingbackin July 25, 2011 at 4:11 pm

This sounds great! I love the idea of olive oil mayo!

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2 Nutmeg Nanny July 25, 2011 at 4:21 pm

Yum! Your sandwich looks awesome! I have always wanted to try making my own mayonnaise. I gotta give it a try!

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3 Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen July 25, 2011 at 5:14 pm

Simple and delicious too I bet!

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4 Stacy (Little Blue Hen) July 25, 2011 at 6:53 pm

So simple, but so lovely! I haven’t made mayo in a while – perhaps it’s time.

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5 Angela FRS July 25, 2011 at 8:34 pm

That looks *fabulous* in all its beautiful simplicity.

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6 Emily July 25, 2011 at 9:05 pm

This is one good looking sandwich!

I would love to make my own mayonnaise. I bet it tastes amazing!

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7 Lauren at Keep It Sweet July 26, 2011 at 3:16 am

This sandwich looks simple and perfect! Love the homamde mayo.

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8 JDaniel4's Mom July 26, 2011 at 11:08 am

This is perfect summer sandwich! Yum@

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9 Katie Webster July 26, 2011 at 11:17 am

Mayo and tomatoes are a match made in heaven. I love this post and the fact that you stood strong in the face of preserving the sophistication of these simple ingredients. Not to mention such a beautiful photograph. Love it Kathy:)

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10 Aggie July 26, 2011 at 11:49 am

that mayo sounds really good! I would have had trouble sticking to the simplicity of this too…but simple is so good isn’t it?? what a beautiful sandwich. Yum.

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11 Deb July 26, 2011 at 1:21 pm

This sounds great! I recently got some Himalayan pink salt and organic peppercorns from Sustainable Sourcing and I’ll have to try them out in this recipe. Thanks for sharing!

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12 zainab July 29, 2011 at 6:23 am

this is so lovely…and really quick too!!!
great blog!

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13 Louise August 2, 2011 at 6:03 am

Hi Kathy!!!

I just couldn’t let another day go by without wishing you a Happy National Panini Month!!! Your Heirloom Tomato Panini looks heavenly. I’m still waiting for my heirlooms. Simply delectable.

Thanks for sharing…

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14 Kathy August 2, 2011 at 7:24 am

Thank you, Louise! :-)

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15 Mindy August 2, 2011 at 10:38 am

I totally need to try this next time I get heirlooms from the CSA! I used to make mayo (without a recipe) when I lived in Spain long ago, but got out of the habit. It’s soooooo much better fresh!

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16 Lori @ RecipeGirl August 3, 2011 at 1:07 pm

Love the idea of keeping it simple with just the tomato and the homemade mayo. I’d have been tempted to add bacon too though :) Looking forward to having a couple of dinners with you this week!

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17 Barbara @ Barbara Bakes August 4, 2011 at 5:23 pm

I would have had a hard time not adding the bacon too, but those are gorgeous tomatoes. I’m sure it was a treat.

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18 Ashley August 19, 2011 at 3:44 pm

This looks amazing!! I love fresh tomatoes. What a perfect lunch!

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