Friday, September 16, 2011

Make tomato sandwiches while the sun shines...

We recently indulged in a dinner at one of my favorite restaurants, Santropol. Located right near Mont Royal and Parc Jeanne Mance, it is a quirky little place that serves amazing sandwiches. On that visit, I found that they now sell loaves of the bread used to make their sandwiches. For those of you who have not had a Santropol sandwich, the best part about it is the bread! Soft and dark and chewy.... so good!

So I promptly bought a loaf to take home... but what to make with it? This is seriously good bread, you don't just slap it on any old sandwich! What could I use it for?

Being the end of summer, one thing that there is no shortage of right now is tomatoes. Even the mass produced grocery store ones are good... gotta love food that's in season! So taking advantage of what's on hand, we've had some sinfully good tomato sandwiches. 

And not just your run of the mill tomato sandwich, either. Starting with a slice of bread, I spread them liberally with fresh mayo, put on a few slices of deli ham, top with some fresh sliced tomato and then sprinkle liberally with shredded cheese (I opted for a simple cheddar). Sprinkle with some herbs, salt and pepper and pop under the broiler for a few minutes. What you end up with is this:

Melty and warm and juicy... so good! Along with a nice bottle of beer, this makes an incredibly simple but delicious late summer meal.

And of course you can change it up as you like: ham, bacon, turkey, roast beef or no meat at all. You can use any kind of tomato... a simple greenhouse grocery store one or an exotic heirloom variety, just make sure it is really and truly ripe. You can't get away with an under-ripe one in this case. Whatever cheese you use, it should stand up to broiling well... now is not really the time for that fancy brie you've been saving. Cheddar or Emmenthal are good choices... they toast well and add a bite of flavor. Don't forget to use something like mayo to help keep the bread from burning (it will give a nice grilled cheese-like end result) but you can add whatever tickles your fancy... seasonings, dijon mustard, pickles, etc. And lastly, the bread. Plain ol' store bought will suffice, but if you're going to the trouble of making a fresh, seasonal sandwich like this, get something you really like. If it's store-bought that you really like, then so be it! Or make it a good excuse to pop into the bakery for some fresh sourdough or a baguette. It doesn't have to be fancy, it doesn't have to be expensive, but it does have to be something you truly enjoy. _That_ will be what makes it a truly indulgent sandwich :)

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