August 26, 2009
Being vegetarian, a tomato sandwich in the summertime is one of my staple meals. Great whole grain bread with mayo, and locally grown tomatoes. Plus a good dash of salt and Penzeys shallot pepper. Avocado, pickles and lettuce are optional. Ah, but there's another kind of tomato sandwich out there. Let me explain.
Take a nice thick slice of GOOD tomato…do NOT use the crummy pinkish faux tomatoes that the grocery stores try to pass off on us.
Add a thick schmear of goat cheese with a spoonful of pesto mixed in.
Top with another thick slice of tomato.
Roll in seasoned flour, then egg, then panko breadcrumbs and saute til golden brown.
Sprinkle with salt.
Rinse and repeat.
Are you with me?
I heard about this idea from a tomato recipe contest the Washington Post conducted. Last year's winner used this method, but included bacon (I don't eat Babe), Boursin cheese instead of the goat cheese and pesto, and Italian breadcrumbs instead of the panko. Besides my pesto version, you could also use a dollop of the Hatch Green Chile and Garlic Goat Cheese that I did a couple of days ago.
Fried Tomato Sandwiches with Pesto and Goat Cheese
(adapted from Mary Joe Sweeney's winning recipe)
1 large ripe tomato
1 nice thick chunk of goat cheese
1 Tblsp pesto
Flour, well seasoned with salt and pepper
1 egg, lightly beaten
Olive oil or canola oil for sauteing
Core the tomato and slice it into 4 even slices. Mix the pesto into the goat cheese. Add half of it to one slice of tomato, and top with another to make a sandwich. Repeat with the rest of the goat cheese and the 2 remaining tomato slices. Dredge in the flour, then the egg, and then the breadcrumbs. Saute in oil until golden brown, then carefully flip and lightly brown the other side. Remove from heat and immediately salt the sandwiches. Drain briefly on paper towels, and serve hot. Makes 2 sandwiches.
Like LilSis' little baby quiches yesterday, this is a recipe that allows you to do whatever you want with it. Use any soft cheese you like, but remember that if it's not soft and gooey, it won't get melty before the tomatoes get yukky. Add in olives, herbs (chives would be good), garlic, scallions, anything you can think of. A little shredded parmesan would be good mixed in with the breadcrumbs too.