Ultimate Guide to Tomato Toast
– PICKING A TOMATO. Tomato season runs from May through October. Throughout this period, endless varieties of tomatoes are available for you to use. There is no wrong choice here, just grab whichever tomato smells the sweetest and makes you smile.
–SLICE YOUR TOMATO. There is no wrong way to slice your tomato, just lots of fun options. As for the knife, serrated is best. I use my bread knife and it works like a dream. You can slice it from stem to bottom, through the center of the body, or even into nice chunky wedges. I also love to slice up some smaller tomatoes (i.e. grape or cherry) and sprinkle them across my toast. The toast is your canvas, and the tomato is your muse.
–SALT YOUR TOMATO. The most important thing you can do to your tomato is properly salt it. The salt does a few important things, but the most important effect it has is pulling out the juices in the tomato and bringing them to the surface, which ultimately enhances the flavor of the tomato instantly. It also activates your saliva, making sure you taste every bit of that sweet tomato flavor. I like to use sea salt for this, as it adds a nice crunch.
–STRAIGHT UP: Listen, there is some serious magic in frosting a thick layer of your favorite (read: Duke’s) mayo on a piece of bread, slapping a tomato on top and just living, laughing and loving. This is your gateway, and you will be hooked.
–ACIDS AND ALLIUMS: A seriously delightful twist to your mayo is adding some acids (lemon or lime juice or and/or zest) or alliums (grated garlic, chopped onions or shallots) and giving it a stir. If you like tart and tang (which we know you do, because Duke’s), this will take your tomato toast to the next level!
–FRESH HERBS: I have been known to go so far as to add pesto into my mayo , which honestly would be delicious here as well. But this is meant to be an easy breezy way to kick up your tomato mayo toast, so I will just say that chopping up some fresh herbs (I like basil or chives) and tossing them into your mayo is a delightful way to bring some of the best parts of summer together.
–SPICY SPICE: For some, summer provides enough heat. For others, the hotter the better. And for those brave folks, I must suggest adding something spicy directly into your mayo and giving it a nice solid mix. I have approximately 300 bottles of hot sauce in my fridge, and truly any of them make the perfect addition to this twist on tomato mayo toast.
–CHOICES, CHOICES: As a society, we have never seen more choices available in bread than at this very moment. Sourdough, white bread, raisin walnut bread, olive bread, gluten free bread… The list goes on. All of them—plus bagels and English muffins—are a delicious choice for your tomato mayo toast. As for me, I typically stick with a nice crusty loaf of sourdough or a perfectly soft sliced sandwich bread.
–TOASTED. We are, after all, making toast. There are some great ways to make toast out there. Famously, a toaster works very well or even a toaster oven, from what I hear! I do not own either, but let me tell you that 5 minutes or so in a 450º oven with your bread right on the oven rack is a great and easy way to make some toast, kids!
–OLIVE OIL FRIED. If you have not yet cut yourself a nice slice of bread and tossed it into a frying pan filled with some delicious and hot olive oil and fried each side of the bread until it’s golden brown and glowing then please, I beg you, drop everything and do it now. This makes a truly delicious foundation for this recipe.
–MAYO FRIED. Just when you thought we had enough mayo happening (impossible, TBH), I want to be sure you know that you can, in fact, fry your bread in mayo as well. Slather both sides of your bread with mayo and fry them over medium until they are perfectly golden brown. They are now ready for that frosting of mayo, thank you!
–SALT AND PEPPER. This is the tried and true way to top your tomato mayo toast. Simple and pure. Almost too good for this world.
–HOT HOT HOT. Another one for the spicy loving kids. Toss some red pepper flakes, some chili paste or some hot sauce on top of your toast for a very quick hit of heat.
–HERBS. If you pass on chopping up your herbs and making an herby mayo, you still have a chance here to include some of summer’s other best flavors! A few leaves of basil or mint, some chopped up cilantro, parsley or chives —you herb it here first.
–PROTEIN. Bacon, prosciutto, sardines, anchovies, a jammy soft-boiled egg… all frequent guests on my tomato mayo toasts and they could not be more welcome guests. You never know, one or two may just stay a while if you let them!