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.

If you liked this post, you might also enjoy:

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>Traveling to a new city soon? Browse Panini Happy’s Great American Sandwich Guide to find the best sandwiches across the country!

{ 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!


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!


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

Simple and delicious too I bet!


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.


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

That looks *fabulous* in all its beautiful simplicity.


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!


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

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


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

This is perfect summer sandwich! Yum@


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:)


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.


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!


12 zainab July 29, 2011 at 6:23 am

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


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…


14 Kathy August 2, 2011 at 7:24 am

Thank you, Louise! 🙂


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!


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!


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.


18 Ashley August 19, 2011 at 3:44 pm

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


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