Coast Cooking

Coast Cooking: Can't wait for tomato season

I know I am jumping the gun, but tomato season is just around the corner, isn't it?

Tomatoes are available year around, but the quality is less than desirable when they are out of season. 

If you shop carefully, before the season begins, sometimes you can find heirloom tomatoes that are pretty good, but pricey. 

How do you tell a good tomato at the grocery story? Smell it! If it has no smell, it will have no flavor. If it has the intense smell a good, garden-fresh tomato should have, then it will taste just as good. 

Traditionally a tomato sandwich is eaten on plan white bread, but I just can't go that way. Loosen up and try something innovative. Use crusty locally baked bread, like a pistolette, or an Indian style flat bread, naan. Whatever bread you use, just make sure it is fresh and local.

The best advice is to wait for good summertime tomatoes. But if you can't wait, do the best you can.


1 garden fresh, ripe tomato, still hot from the sun

Homemade mayonnaise, the garlicky kind if you like

Whole wheat bread, flat bread, or freshly baked roll

Salt and fresh ground black pepper

Optional jalapeño pepper

Cut the tomato into thick slices with a serrated knife. Slather lots of mayo on the bread, add a big slice to tomato, season as you like it, add the other piece of bread. Close your eyes and take a big bite. If you really want to take it to the edge, add cilantro or fresh basil, and for the truly brave, add a jalapeño to the mix.