The Best Tomato Sandwich...


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Presenting Our Tomato Sandwich Drawing Winners for 2018!


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A big thanks to our wonderful tomato-lovin' customers who sent their delicious, drool-inducing recipes for our 'Favorite Tomato Sandwich' Drawing on February 14th. 

Starting with the 3 drawing winners, here they are!


Tati's Wedding


Nothing Better!

My favorite sandwich is two ginormous slices of my favorite, Tati's Wedding.

Pat them dry and use them for bread! 

Smother them with mayo, a sprinkle of garlic and some thin slices of cucumber.

Eat open faced or sandwich the tomato slices and be ready for a really juicy treat!

Cheri Rhinhart of Oregon. Cheri won a bottle of Laurel's Blend Extra Virgin Olive Oil! Yay, Cheri


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Maria's Samwich

2 Slices of Seeded Rye or Pumpernickel bread, toasted, with regular or seasoned butter or grilled with a light coating of Olive Oil.

1 big, fat, juicy, giant slice slice of tomato, pick your fave or mix 'n match with whatever is ripe

4 slices Prosciutto or thin-sliced, crispy Canadian bacon.

1 avocado, mashed with cilantro, I use the stuff in the tube, being in the Midwest and all-- fresh is great, but mash it well.

Several leaves of freshly washed baby spinach.

Spread the smashed avocado/cilantro on one slice of the bread. Now put half of the Prosciutto or Canadian bacon atop the avocado, then cover with whatever amount baby spinach looks yummy.

Now place the big, fat, juicy, giant slice slice of you-know-what atop the spinach, then reverse-engineer the rest, adding more spinach, the rest of the salty pork bits and another slice of the avocado/cilantro schmeered bread.

Cut in half at the diagonal and stuff in mouth. Optional: hard sharp crumbled cheese and fresh salsa.  Thanks for the fun of sharing! This is my favorite samwich but my brother seems to love it too-- he's always stealing mine.

Maria D'Marco, of Missouri.  Maria is the winner of our Great Big Tomatoes Liquid Compost!  Yay Maria!



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Grilled Tomato Avocado Sandwich

Slice your favorite tomato horizontally, season lightly with Italian seasoning or nothing at all, takes 4 to 6  tomato slices per slice of bread or just one slice if you have Really Big Tomatoes. My favorites are Emerald Giant, Tati's Wedding, Pink Brandywine and Chocolate Amazon

Grill your favorite bread, 2 slices, I like sourdough, by melting garlic butter on the griddle, I place the bread in melted butter and lightly butter the side facing up. Takes 3 to 5 minutes to toast to a light brown, flip the bread slices and lower heat to medium low.

Put 1 slice or favorite cheese on each piece of toast -- I use cheddar or provolone --you can add condiments now, but why disguise a beautiful tomato...

As cheese is melting,  place the tomato slices on both sides, then garnish with avocados, or guacamole . You can also add thin slices of onions or crispy bacon (I like Vegetarian bacon) . Within 3 to 5 minutes the tomatoes have melted into cheese.  Flip one side on the other ….cut in half and enjoy!

Barb Kraus of Southern California.  Barb won a big 30 gallon SmartPot in our drawing! Yay Barb!


Here are some other delightful drawing entries, fabulously delicious contributions to our sandwich page! 

This was really fun, thank you all so much! ~ Laurel



Richard's Mediterranean Madness

    Gonnella Italian loaf sliced

    Roma tomatoes like Jutland or Italian Heirloom

    Parmesano Reggiano cheese

    Classico 4 cheese spaghetti sauce

    Fresh basil leaves

    Garlic, minced

    Laurel's Blend EVOO

    Vermont American white cheddar cheese slices from Cracker Barrel (comes in green foil package looks like pregnant butter stick)

  •     Slice bread in half, brush with evoo

  •     Drizzle crushed garlic over bread

  •     Sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan cheese, lightly toast under broiler

  •     Layer the tomato slices

  •     Top with cheddar slices  and cover with the spaghetti sauce

  •     Sprinkle w Parmesan cheese

  •     Toast till cheese begins to melt

  •     Remove and sprinkle with fresh basil leaves

        Note: any spaghetti-type sauce will do. I happen to have that one on hand. My late wife would have this as a meal. I a pinch, Kraft canned parmesan will do as will dried basil but the fresh ingredients give it pizaaaaz...

    Richard Ahern who gardens - and cooks - in Indianapolis



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The Best Tomato Sandwich!

2 pieces toasted sourdough bread

Mayo & Mustard

Onion, sliced thin

Lettuce, your favorite

Any variety of Laurel’s Heirlooms!

2 slices crispy bacon

Assemble, eat and die from the perfection!

Janice Dewey, who grows her tomatoes in Southern Arizona



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Jeanette's Croissant Sandwich

One fresh buttery croissant per sandwich, sliced in half and lightly toasted.


Sliced heirloom tomatoes from your garden

Thin slices of tender grilled flank steak

Your favorite fresh herbs

  • Spread the croissant halves with Mayo
  • Add fresh-picked sliced heirloom tomatoes, your favorites
  • Add a few slices of grilled flank steak
  • Sprinkle with garlic, basil, thyme -- your favorites.
  • Enjoy!

Jeanette LaMar, who grows her tomatoes and herbs in Northern California


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Best Ever!

#1 The Best Tomato Sandwich Ever

Sourdough or French Bread

Mayo on both sides of the bread

Crushed black olives, nice thick layer

Slices of your favorite heirloom tomatoes from Laurel

Fresh ground black pepper

#2 The Best BLT Ever

Sourdough or French Bread

Mayo on both sides of the bread

Beautiful slices of heirloom tomatoes

Avocado slices

Green onions, sliced thin, lengthwise

Slices of crispy bacon

Lettuce, your favorite

Black pepper

Sue Johnson, growing her heirlooms in Olympia, Washington!



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Easy, Yummy BLT

Organic gluten free bread, toasted

Natures Promise bacon, baked.

Sliced fresh picked heirloom tomatoes from your garden



Salt and Pepper

Put it all together and enjoy!

Nina Lynch who grows her tomatoes in West Virginia!


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Waiting for the Harvest!

Good white bread, toasted

Mayo on both sides

Fresh picked, sun-warm leaf lettuce

Amana Colony Bacon - crispy fried - lots!

Lots of Thick Sliced Paul Robeson tomatoes - lots! 

I cannot wait!!!! Thanks, Sandra. 

Sandy Snook, growing her tomatoes in Southern California


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Boule BLT

Boule (bool), French for ball, a round rustic loaf.)

Start with a nice sourdough or French boule, nothing from the bread aisle of the supermarket.  Lightly toasted and sliced in half horizontally.

Mayo on both slices, maybe spicy mayo on one.

Cut the ripe heirloom tomatoes into medium slices, not so thin as to disappear nor so thick as to overwhelm. 

Plenty of salt and coarse-ground black pepper.

Add Smithfield thick-sliced cherry wood smoked bacon baked (!) just short of crispy.

Add baby spinach. Plenty.

Cut in half, too hard to control full size. Enjoy,

Rob Campbell of West Virginia


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Tomato, Brie, Avocado Open Faced Sandwich



1 thick slice of large ripe tomato, Cherokee Purple or Brandywine work well

Good sea salt or kosher salt and fresh black pepper

A pinch of finely chopped shallot

Balsamic vinegar

Laurel's Blend Olive Oil

1/3 of a ripe Hass avocado,

Lemon wedge

A few slices of brie or camembert cheese

Slice of good bread (Tuscan-style bread works well), or even ½ of a good quality bagel

Fresh basil leaves

Fresh lemon verbena leaves if you have them 

· Preheat oven to 375º (or alternatively, prepare your toaster oven).

· Cut a thick slice of large ripe heirloom tomato from your garden. Set it on plate and sprinkle with  bit of salt, pepper, finely chopped shallots, and drizzle with a bit of balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

· Slice avocado, drizzle with bit of lemon juice, sprinkle with salt. 

· Slice bread (or bagel) and place on baking sheet. 

· Top bread with the marinated avocado slices and then a layer of thin slices of brie cheese. 

· Put in oven (or toaster oven) until cheese is melted and bread is lightly toasted. 

·  Transfer to plate. Now it's time for the tomato! Top the melty cheese with marinated tomato slice.

· Add a few torn leaves of fresh basil and lemon verbena.  Enjoy!

Lisa Sylvester who grows her heirloom tomatoes in Southeast Pennsylvania.


Burnin' Love BLT from Alabama

Cherokee Purple heirloom slices with:

Local Alabama-made small batch bacon

Fresh jalapeños

Duke's mayonnaise!

I guess it's a BJT!

                        From Chris Moss of Fairhope, Alabama

                       Thanks for the fabulous photograph, Chris! ~ Laurel


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This is definitely not fancy but I got it for breakfast at a coffee shop in San Francisco once and it was amazing! Now I eat it all the time at home!

A bagel or hearty bread, toasted

Cream cheese

Sliced heirloom tomatoes from Laurel's!

A squeeze of lemon juice

Salt and pepper.

Sounds so simple but it is sooo good!!!

Lauren Alexander of Northern California


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Mike and Jerre’s BATA

(bacon, arugula, tomato, avocado)

2 slices whole grain bread – toasted

Slices of your favorite heirloom tomato

Handful of arugula

Slices of avocado

Slices of thick cut smoked bacon

Mayonnaise – Trader Joe’s Wasabi Mayo and/or regular mayo

Spread wasabi mayo on one slice of bread, regular mayo on the other or use all of one or the other

Add tomato, bacon, avocado & arugula.  Enjoy!

Michael White, growing his heirloom tomatoes in Encinitas, California



         Ruby Gold


Bleu Cheese & Cucumber Tomato Sandwich

My favorite tomato sandwich (whenever I don't just eat the tomatoes plain with salt!) is:

Whole grain bread,

A little blue cheese,

Thinly sliced cucumbers,

Tomatoes (obviously),

A little salt. 

Now my mouth is watering!

Lauren Gibbs, growing her tomatoes in Southern California


Our Winner for 2017 was Cal Ward,

Here is Cal's Creation!

For sandwiches I'm very fond of using a round focaccia loaf.  A specially flavored loaf, like asiago cheese or rosemary and onion is much better than plain straight-up focaccia.  

Slice it in half horizontally. 

Plaster one side with pesto and the other with either mayo or maybe eggplant spread.  

Layer up from the bottom half with:

Thinly sliced cucumbers,

 Some fresh romaine,

Some favorite cheese slices, especially goat cheese.

And then stack to your heart's content with tomato slices.  Add a touch of salt and white pepper. 

 Put the lid on the top and cut into wedges for serving.  Bibs allowed.

  ~ Calvin Ward, Rochester, Minnesota


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From Kemp Hickey in Burlingame California

Momotaro tomatoes

Oatnut Bread

Best Foods Mayo

Smoked bacon, thick cut and crispy!

Some avocado here and there.

Leafy baby greens like fresh spinach.

  ~ Kemp Hickey


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Northern Lights


From Susan Grossman of Shingle Springs California


A toasted English muffin

Your favorite tomato soaked in balsamic vinegar, chives and roasted salt for a few minutes....

Fresh baby lettuce

Spread some goat cheese on the toasted muffin. Add your flavorful tomatoes and baby lettuce and enjoy!

  ~ Susan Grossman


Paul Robeson

From George Grimm of Brownwood, Texas

German 6 seeded bread (from the bakery!)

Paul Robeson tomato

Peterson uncured bacon, cooked crispy

Olive Oil Mayonnaise

Put it all together and enjoy your fabulous sandwich!

 ~ George Grimm

Paul Robeson

  From Joe Ellis of Alpharetta, Georgia

Only Like Grandma Used to Make. The Original!

White Bread

Homemade mayo

Cracked green and black pepper

Pinch of Sea Salt

Thick slice of Paul Robeson tomato.

....stop, stop, stop – don’t mess this up with add-ons like avocado, bacon, lettuce, onions, ham or fancy breads.

(Goes great with some good scotch.)

  ~Joe Ellis, Alpharetta GA



Black Krim


California Style, Hot Bacon & Chilled Lettuce

or 'How to make the phone ring....'


Squaw bread or a sweet whole wheat bread, really fresh.

A little bit of finely chopped sweet onion or red onion. Maybe a teaspoon -- just for seasoning.

Fresh cracked pepper and a some kosher salt.

5 slices of smoked bacon.  Niman Ranch Applewood Smoked Bacon from Trader Joe's is great , but I also LOVE Farmer John bacon, cooked very, very crispy, just before the burn or your favorite...but keep the bacon hot!

Best Foods mayonnaise. Or Hellman's or Duke's.

Big, sweet, right off the vine, warm from the sun, green-when-ripe, red, black, orange or bi-colored tomato like Aunt Ruby's German Green, Chocolate Amazon, Brown Derby, Ruby Gold, Queen of the Sea, Cherokee Purple, or Dagma's Perfection, or....

Sliced the tomato ½" thick and as big as the bread or bigger.  For a smaller tomato, cut several slices to cover the bread. Your tomato should be on the sweet side with a perfect background of tang. A rich, juicy, irresistible  heirloom tomato.

Very crisp and cold mild-flavored lettuce, like iceberg or butter lettuce, not bitter lettuce or strong tasting lettuce.


While keeping the bacon hot, spread a nice layer of mayo on the bread, put the tomato slice on the bread, put a thin layer of mayo on the tomato. Add just a little salt and pepper to taste.


Sprinkle with the onion.


Add the piece of chilled lettuce and another very thin layer of mayonnaise. The mayonnaise will keep the sandwich glued together so you don't have the slip-slidin' away lettuce/tomato syndrome.


At the last second, add 4 ½ slices of the hot, right-out-the-pan bacon, drained briefly, leave a little bacon grease on it for guilty pleasure, add the other slice of bread. 


Eat the other ½ slice of bacon as an appetizer or save it for dessert. Have a glass of milk or whiskey and some napkins ready.  Relax and take a bite of your sandwich before the bacon cools.


The phone will ring the moment you sit down, take the first bite and slip irretrievably into reverie.  Ignore it.  (The phone, not the sandwich.)


Laurel Garza, Laurel's Heirloom Tomato Plants


Southern California




Solar Flare

Stacy's Solar Flare on Sourdough


Stacy sent us her recipe in September 2016 and won our drawing for a bottle of Great Big Tomatoes! It was fun, we'll do it every year!



We LOVE this version of a BLT with thick slices of Solar Flare tomatoes!
4 slices homemade sourdough bread
8 slices bacon, thick cut  
2 slices tomato
4 slices lox
1 avocado
1/2 C mayonnaise

Peel and remove seed from avocado.  Smash in a bowl and then mix with mayonnaise.  Cover and put in refrigerator until you are ready to use it.
Fire up your grill and tamp the coals down to low and slow.  Slowly grill bacon until crispness of your choice.  Keep the coals low. The bacon fat will want to start a fire. 

When bacon has cooked, remove to plate and place sourdough bread over grill grate. 

Toast the bread on both sides 1-2 minutes until browned.

To assemble sandwiches, smear each slice of bread with a generous portion of avocado mayonnaise spread.  Place bacon, lox, tomato and lettuce leaves evenly on two slices.  Top with remaining bread.  Cut and enjoy! 
Note - Remaining avocado mayonnaise with keep in the refrigerator for up to a week if mixed with 1/2 tsp lime or lemon juice and then covered with plastic wrap.  However, ours never lasts that long. 

Stacy Dorsett of Macomb, Illinois


                                                                                                Black From Tula                                


Lightly toasted 7 grain bread,

One Big slice of large, delicious heirloom tomato,

3 slices very crispy bacon.

Sliced ripe avocado 

Boston lettuce

Pesto mayo: Mayonnaise with pesto mixed the way you like it.

Lightly toast the bread, add fresh mozzarella, Prosciutto, lots of sliced tomatoes (black ones are my favorite), fresh basil, olive oil & pepper.  Yum!

It's been a very good year! 

Lois Hofshi, Stamford, Connecticut





                                    Grilled Tomato with Pesto and Mozzarella Sandwich

2 large heirloom tomatoes  (sliced in pretty thick rounds)
Sourdough bread (sliced into 1/2" - 3/4" slices)
Fresh Mozzarella - buffalo, goat or cow (slice a little thicker than thin)
Home made or store bought Pesto (we make and  prefer the pine nut variety made with a variety of basil)
Fresh Basil (any kind will do)

Toast one side of the sliced bread in the oven (broil)
Take all your slices and arrange on a parchment covered jelly roll pan in this order:
Bread spread with pesto (toasted side up)
Sprinkle with salt

Broil on top shelf of oven until cheese is melted
Pull out and immediately put a basil leaf or to onto the cheese (which will firm up real quick and hold the basil)

A variation is to added sliced/pitted olives on top of the tomato before the cheese goes on.

Susan Grossman of Shingle Springs, California



           Brown Derby


                                       Brown Derby Bliss, Italian Style

·         Farmers Bread, toasted (the original white sandwich bread)

·         Thick cut peppered bacon

·         Mayo

·         Fresh basil

·         Fresh mozzarella cheese

·         Aged balsamic (fig balsamic is our preference)

·         Quality virgin olive oil

·         Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

·         Brown Derby Heirloom Tomato 

Heat oven to  425º.

Place bacon on parchment paper and in shallow baking pan and cook in the oven for 10 min or until bacon is crisp.

While the bacon is cooking, place sliced farmers bread in the toaster.

Slice your Brown Derby tomato into thick ½” slices and lay flat.

Season slices with olive oil first then balsamic, sea salt, and fresh ground pepper. Let sit until bacon is crisp and ready.

Slather mayo on both sides of toasted farmers bread.

Stack Brown Derby slices, bacon, mozzarella cheese, and basil.

Tie on a bib, lean over your dish and enjoy one of summers heavenly delights!!  

Bob and Salina Holmes of Dunmore, Pennsylvania




Kick it Up Kitchen-Sink Sandwich

Lightly toast 2 slices of Italian Scali bread (I like the kind with the seeds).

Liberally slather both slices of toast with mayonnaise.

Now, and only now (no pre-slicing) cut a fresh picked and perfectly ripe heirloom tomato from Laurel's....into ¼ inch slices.

Cover 1 slice of the toast with tomato making sure you cover every square inch of space. Salt and then lightly pepper, now add a second layer (you must have a minimum of 2 layers or it is not an official Kitchen Sink tomato sandwich).

Complete the sandwich by topping with the remaining piece of Scali toast (do not cut this sandwich in half as that would be cheating).

Now with both hands lift the sandwich and position yourself in front of your kitchen sink. With knee’s slightly bent lean forward over the sink, elbows up. Take your first wonderful bite….savor….enjoy, repeat until sandwich has been devoured.

If properly executed you will not spill anything on your cloth’s but will end up with tomato and mayo juices running down your chin and all over your hands, but……who cares….you’re at the kitchen sink J

Thanks again Laurel,


Paul Lorenzetti of East Hampstead, New Hampshire



Cherokee Chocolate

Cherokee Chocolate Sandwich

Take two slices of very soft wheat bread.
Spread liberally with Hellman's Mayonnaise.

Slice a 1" midsection from a very big Cherokee Chocolate Tomato.
Salt and Pepper.
Place between slices.
Stand over sink to eat.

Angie Holley, Louisville Tennessee


Black Plum

Ciabatta and Avocado BLT

My favorite BLT has:

Black from Tula, Black Plum or Mariana's Peace tomatoes 

Romaine and always

Smokey Benton's Bacon from Tennessee. 

Serve this on warm crusty ciabatta bread.  Hold the mayo and use big slices of avocado instead. Yum!


Teresa Kemp, Eads, Tennessee


Clint Eastwood's Rowdy Red

Bill's Rowdy Red Sandwich

2 slices of toasted white bread, I slice liberally buttered. 

1/3 – ½ inch thick slices of tomato,

Clint Eastwood Rowdy Red or Hillbilly, with lots of pepper & some salt. 

Top with a couple slices of bacon. 

For the more adventurous, put some extra cheddar cheese on one slice of the bread when you toast it. 


Bill Redel, West Chester, Pennsylvania

Clay's Cracker Bread BLT

(This one from Clay Carson is a little different....and incredibly delicious. We tried it this weekend.

 Oh. My. God. ~ Laurel)

Take some cracker bread and break it into 3 to 4 inch pieces.

Take 6 pieces of thin sliced bacon and cook crisp.
Take a 8 oz. bar of cream cheese and mix in the crisp bacon and a heaping tablespoon of black pepper.
Take 1 tablespoon of cream cheese mixture and spread it onto the cracker bread pieces.
Quarter a black cherry tomato and put all four pieces on each piece of bread.
Take arugula (make sure it's not wet) and slice it thin. Add salt, pepper, olive oil, and a squeeze of lemon and toss.
Now take thick slice bacon and cook well but not to crisp. Cut the bacon into quarter inch strips.
Add bacon to the arugula mix
Top the cracker bread with the arugula mix.

Make a bunch. They go fast!

Clay Carson, Auburn, Alabama



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      Chocolate Stripes


               Spanish Breakfast

 I visited my daughter in Spain a couple of years ago and came back with this:
 A slice of good artisan bread, pick your kind.
 Toast it lightly
 Drizzle with olive oil
 Add a nice cold slice of smoked Provolone
 Big thick slice of your best tomato, nice and warm
 Sprinkle with salt & pepper
 Add some oregano and basil
 Eric Pierce,

  Carlsbad, NM



BLT: Summer in a Sandwich


From our friend Leslie Land, New York Times Food & Garden Writer

You have to grow the lettuce in the shade (of the tomato plants, for instance) but other than that, August and September are glory time for one of the greatest food items ever assembled, that lunch of lunches, the BLT.

Can’t really say there’s only one recipe. Say rather there’s only one correct set of components .

A Proper BLT:

the Bacon: Local pork. No nitrates. Put slices in a single layer in a heavy cast-iron skillet . Cook slowly, turning often, until most of the fat is rendered and the bacon is well-browned and crisp. Drain. Save fat for cornbread, fried green tomatoes and other bacon fat needy items.

( For a while there I was doing the bacon in the microwave, sandwiching it between unbleached paper towels according to micro directions. It got very crisp and was notably un-greasy, but all that lovely bacon fat was lost and the crispness of the bacon was an oddly dry, industrial crispness reminiscent of fake bacon bits. )

the Lettuce: Preferably from the garden. Crisp but not agribusiness-romaine crisp; it has to play well with others while adding a light, fresh note to the ensemble.

the Tomatoes: Ripe on the edge of falling apart but not falling over it. The ones in the picture are, clockwise from top: Aunt Ruby’s German Green, one of the sweetest heirlooms available; Japanese Black Trifele, a high-yielding, deep-flavored “black” and Sophie’s Choice.

the Mayonnaise: Homemade mayonnaise is all very well, but NOT on a BLT, which should be made with Hellmann’s. period. The jar in the picture contains a version made with lime juice for the Latino market and alas not available everywhere. Good though.

And thus we come to the ringer,
the Bread: That’s a ciabatta in the picture and it did make a tasty sandwich, but a naturally-leavened bread full of big holes in the European style is not right for a BLT.

What’s wanted is old fashioned Pullman bread, aka pain de mie, the bread that got debased into Wonder Bread. Properly made, the square, soft-crusted loaf has a very tight even crumb and just a tiny touch of sweetness to go with the blended flavors of milk and yeasted wheat.

Here is a link to Leslie's wonderful Cooking and Gardening Blog:

Leslie Land, The New York Times




 Tasmanian Chocolate


Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato Confit Sandwich

From our customer and friend, Lora Zarubin, Food & Wine Editor for LA, the Los Angeles Times Magazine

The intensity of the tomato confit transforms this BLT from the ordinary to the sublime. 

Makes 4 sandwiches.

4 slices tomato confit

12 slices smoked bacon

8 slices sourdough, 1/2 inch slices

4 tablespoons mayonnaise

4 fresh romaine lettuce leaves, washed and patted dry

Salt and pepper to taste


Tomato Confit

4 ripe but firm heirloom tomatoes, approximately 3/4 pound each

6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Pre heat oven to 200 degrees. 

Bring a pot of water, (large enough to hold all the tomatoes), to a boil. Cut an X across the back of each tomato. When the water is boiling plunge the tomatoes into the boiling water for 30 seconds. Remove and cool. When the tomatoes are cool enough to handle peel off the skin. Cut the tomatoes in quarters. Carefully with a sharp knife cut along the inside of each tomato and remove the heart and seeds.

Place the tomatoes cut side down in a baking pan large enough to hold all 24 pieces. Drizzle the olive oil over the tomatoes. With a pastry brush baste all the tomatoes with the olive oil. Bake uncovered for 1 hour. Remove and cool. Place the tomatoes in a container and cover with remaining oil. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Heat a skillet large enough for all the strips of bacon, or heat two skillets so that you can cook all the bacon at once. Cook the bacon until golden brown and crisp but not totally crisp and brown. Place the bacon on a plate lined with paper towels and place in a warm oven (175 degrees) until ready to assemble the sandwiches.

Toast the slices of bread and place on a chopping board in two rows. Spread 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise for every two slices. Place the romaine leaf folded on the bottom row of toasted bread. Place 4 slices of the tomato confit over the romaine leaves. 

Remove the bacon from the oven and place 3 slices of bacon over the tomato confit. Cover with the top slice of bread and slice in half. Serve immediately.

Lora Zarubin

LA, the Los Angeles Times Magazine


Green Giant


The Ultimate California Tomato Sandwich


4 slices Nieman Ranch Applewood Smoked Bacon, fried crisp
Thick slices large Heirloom tomato (Aunt Gertie's Gold, Brandywine, other favourite)
Freshly ground 5-colour French peppercorns
Slices of just ripe Hass avocado
2 slices lightly toasted Sourdough San Francisco bread
Best Foods Mayo slathered on the bread
Daikon sprouts
Butter Lettuce leaf, optional
Open wide and enjoy!  Hold over sink or plate while eating.
Glass of California Chardonnay!
Mary-Anne Durkee, Alamo CA




The Oklahoma Special

Hi Laurel, it's me, Andy in Oklahoma!  The only way to make a real tomato sandwich is this:

Some fresh white bread and a thick slice (about 1/2 inch) of a tangy beefsteak type tomato.


Slap the tomato between the slices of bread and chomp on down.


That's it and that's all! Don't need any of that fancy stuff.


Andy Brewer, Oklahoma



Don't Need Lettuce in Arkansas...

Whole grain bread spread generously with mayo.  Three or four slices of really crisp bacon.  Thick slices of tomato.  Don't bother with lettuce.

Carolyn Ford from Arkansas


Marianna's Peace


Texas Ham & Cheese & Tomato

My favorite tomato sandwich is Prosciutto ham, smoked provolone cheese, sweet onion relish and sliced Black Prince tomatoes on whole wheat bun. Add a few pickled peppers and it magically disappears!

Carol Moss, Texas


Brandywine OTV

Dev's Oklahoma Spam & Mater Sandwich

Slice the Spam ¼" thick and brown in an olive-oiled pan. Toast the bread, (Oatnut is an excellent choice.)

Slather real mayo on the toast--both slices.  Sprinkle with Chimayo chile powder (smoked Ancho powder is a close second.)

Two or three just-picked lettuce leaves. Half inch slices of Cherokee Purple, still warm from the garden.

Make the sandwich. Uncork a Sam Adams. Take the whole shebang out to the picnic table. Let the juice run down your elbows.

Repeat as necessary.

Dev in Oklahoma


Black Krim

Janet's Mom's Maryland Favorite

My late mother's favorite was an open faced, grilled cheese sandwich with crisp bacon and a big slice of tomato.  She did them on a stovetop in a skillet but ran them under the broiler for a minute at the very end.

I am definitely needing a vine ripened tom in the worst way...

Janet Searcy Wintermute of Maryland, in honor of her mom, Josephine Murphy Searcy

(Editor's note: Janet confesses that during those days Velveeta was the cheese of choice. I must confess, too. Hi, my name's Laurel and I like Velveeta. My family ate a lot of Velveeta in the 50's and 60's, eventually I learned about the delights of real cheese...wouldn't turn down a nice slice of Velveeta, though. ~ Laurel)



       Anna Banana


Some Canadian Variations on the Basics....

Boy, a person would think all we tomato lovers think about is tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes....

It looks like the basic sandwich is tomato, bacon, lettuce, mayo. That is a good base to start with. The little differences are the breads. White bread, pumpernickel, sourdough, rye, brown, toast, Italian.

The bacon must be smoked, though.  You can have bre'-fass bacon, side bacon, pee-meal bacon.  Oh!!!! and the bacon must be semi-crisp/crisp.  The lettuce has to be fresh, leaf lettuce, iceberg lettuce, head lettuce.

ANDS lots of know what?  You could throw a fried egg in there and nobody would complain. Condiments could be salt, pepper, ketchup...does life get any better than this?

What about if we fry the bacon, then fry three large shrimp until tender. Put that on the lettuce, tomato, Mayo, and put that on a Hoagie bun??? Or as we say in Canada, on a submarine bun.

OOOOHHHHHHhhhh.... I'm almost tempted to go the A & P and buy some tomatoes....  ;)

Come on summer.

Stan in Canada



Queen of the Sea


Sunny's No-Bread Hawaiian Special

One thick slice big, red, juicy delicious tomato.

Fresh ground Mediterranean Sea Salt.

Fresh ground black pepper.

Put salt and pepper on tomato slice. Kick back, eat and enjoy!

Sunny Hills of Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii


 Hawaiian Pineapple

Heaven on Toast

My favorite tomato sandwich is YOURS!  LOL.  I'm hungry now.

I like OroWheat bread toasted, with a big ol juicy slice of tomato, like the Omar's Lebanese, fresh lettuce from the garden, a little mayo, salt and pepper. It's heaven on toast.

Janet A., Keeper of the Seeds, Buena Park, California


Cherokee Purple


Caprese Style Grilled Tomato Sandwich

with Mozzarella and Basil

Here's a great chance to do something different with your Double grill/George Foreman (style) grill. 

Fresh Baguette

Olive oil, any type

Kosher salt for sprinklin’

Fresh mozzarella cheese

Fresh basil

Heirloom Tomato of your choice, depending on what you’re in the mood for.

Preheat your grill

Slice your baguette into 1” angled slices/crostinis.  (The ‘angling’ adds length and looks fancy).

Brush each side of crostini with just a bit of olive oil, place onto large plate

Place slice of mozzarella on ½ of the crostinis, ensure slice of cheese is not too big as to make bigger mess on grill.

Place basil leaf or leaves on top of mozzarella.

Place slice/piece/chunk/fragment – whatever you can find of the tomato you told no one to nibble - onto the basil.

Sprinkle a pinch of salt onto tomato.  Finally, add a crostini to the top.  Isn’t it cute??

Place one or 2 ‘sandwiches’ onto grill and close.  These are your test subjects.  Grill, eat, discuss.

Adrienne Park-Tucker, Saugus, California


   Japanese Black Trifele

Cousin Katie's Creation from Illinois

2 slices of fresh, thick bakery bread

A nice big slice of your favorite tomato

A little Miracle Whip and Dijon mustard

Add maple flavored bacon and fresh spinach or just a piece of fresh crisp lettuce, salt and pepper.

Katie in Effingham, Ill. 


                                                                                                  Omar's Lebanese

Sweet Charlie Kemp's Saucy Sandwich

Take 2 slices of whole wheat bread and toast them. Butter each piece.

1 Big slice of tomato
Some lettuce, your favorite
1 slice of sweet onion
Salt and Pepper
Now for my sauce:
Mix in small bowl:
2 tsp Miracle Whip
3-4 drops of hot sauce
3-4 drops of soy sauce
1/2 tsp Ketchup
And just a touch of Pineapple Juice
Put it all together, set back and enjoy.

Charlie Kemp, Illinois.


Dagma's Perfection


A Tasty Cottage Cheese Creation

Just spread some cottage cheese on your favorite whole wheat bread, top with a slice of tomato, sprinkle on some salt and pepper, and top with another slice of bread.

My mom has been eating these as long as I can remember, especially when her tomatoes from her garden started to ripen.

She would also add a tomato slice to her grilled cheese sandwiches before grilling. Also yummy!

Ed and Mary Ogershok, Lake Dallas Texas



   Image result for neves tomato

 Neves Azorean Red

Some Joyful California Creations

Favorite tomato there a bad tomato sandwich? Impossible!
2 slices of your favorite bread spread with mayo
Sprinkle with celery salt and a little black pepper; pepper is optional ~ celery salt isn't!
Add your favorite slice of tomato, or for the kids and for tea parties I dice the tomatoes and quarter the makes them easier to eat.
Sometimes we add a slice of Havarti cheese ~ it's delicious either way!
Fresh baguette, crunchy on the outside, soft inside
Slices of Mozzarella Cheese
Fresh Basil Leaves
Slices of favorite Tomato
Assemble sandwich and drizzle with your favorite Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing or toss ingredients with dressing first, then put in baguette.
Cut into individual sizes. When you taste it you'll make them bigger next time!
This recipe can also be made into a salad.  Just dice instead of slice the tomato and serve the baguette on the side to dip into balsamic vinaigrette-my husband's favorite summer meal.
Hope you enjoy them!

Joy Hamari, Copperopolis, California


      Kellogg's Breakfast


Mom & Dad's Connecticut Sandwich

I grew up on this sandwich, it really doesn't get much simpler!

Fresh White Bread (homemade if possible )
Hellman's Mayonnaise
Thick slice of your favorite straight from the garden tomato!!

It's the simple things in life that bring such joy!!

Matt & Loring Kidd, Connecticut

Berkeley Tie Dye

Debbie's Buttered Delight

Two slices fresh white bread, toasted
Room temperature butter (real organic butter)
Slather the butter on one piece of the toast (while the toast is still warm)
One thick slice of your best garden tomato (or a couple of small thick slices) depending on the size of the tomato.
Add the other piece of toast and chomp down.
Sometimes I will add a little cucumber or bell pepper to mine, but my father probably rolls over in this grave when I do that!
Debbie, West Virginia





                                                           Suzanne's Summer Garden Sandwich

This is a sandwich that I've eaten for years, as does my daughter now. 

I have to have all of the "stuffing" for the sandwich fresh out of the garden. (Except the sweet onion which I don't grow)

Two slices of good whole wheat bread.
Slather  (generously) the mayo (Best Foods) on both slices.
Cut a 1/2" slice of your very best tomato fresh from the garden.
Sprinkle with a little salt & pepper & spread with more mayo.
Cut a sweet onion into a 1/4" slice & top the tomato.
Spread onion with a little more Mayo.
Peel a "Dill Sized" pickling cuke & slice lengthwise into thick slices.
Place on the onion.  Sprinkle with just a little more salt.
Top the whole thing with the second slice of bread.
Suzanne,   Oregon


 Bear Claw


San Francisco Sourdough Summer

My dad was an airline pilot and he used to fly to San Francisco regularly.  He also grew wonderful beefsteak tomatoes.  As a result, I grew up waiting eagerly for my favorite summer sandwich:

Two slices of fresh San Francisco Sourdough Bread spread with Mayo.

Two slices of beefsteak tomato (salt and pepper optional!) 

And welcome to summer!

Kim Ellsworth-Evans, Warrenton, VA


 Orange Strawberry

Cream Cheese Double Delight From New York

Here are 2 sandwiches that my mother made every summer when the  tomatoes were ripe from the garden.

The first you can make it with either  a good pumpernickel or good white bread and the second is best with a 
good white bread. Both are simple.

Just 4 things are needed:

Good bread (we don't toast it)
Good tomatoes warm from the garden
Red onion
Cream Cheese

Spread the cream cheese on the bread, place the tomato slices on top, 
place sliced onion on the tomato, place bread on top of the onion 
(more cream cheese if you like) and eat.

Second one:

Good bread
Good tomatoes warm from the garden
Sliced hard boiled eggs
Good Swiss cheese
Hellman's mayo (for the east coast) and Best Food's (for the west 
salt and pepper

Assemble and eat!

Fran from New York


GreenZebra cut open.jpg (600×368)

Green Zebra

Kariamu's Ambrosia

Hi Laurel!

I guess I'd qualify as a new customer since I'm headed to your plant  sale today!  Here's my favorite way to enjoy tomatoes...

Thinly slice fresh-from-the-garden tomatoes.
Take a nice, airy, crispy croissant and slice in half horizontally.  
Toast it.
Onto that toasty, buttery goodness, pile the tomato slices, drizzle 
the whole thing with very good olive oil, dust with salt and pepper.  

Spread your elbows wide to avoid having tomato juice rolling down 
your arms, take a bite and try not to be distracted by the celestial 
choirs you hear every time you enjoy a real tomato sandwich! 

Oh  yeah, and if you want to get fancy and do this California style, add 
avocado slices and the very best crispy bacon you can find.  When in 
Arkansas, I go with locally-made Petit Jean brand pepper-smoked 
bacon.  Pure bliss!

Kariamu of California


Gold Medal Tomato

 Ruby Gold


Mom's Garden-Fresh OLT  (Onion, Lettuce & Tomato)

My Mother raised me on this garden fresh sandwich.

Two slices fresh bread, toasted or untoasted
Room temperature butter (real butter)
Slather the butter on one piece of the bread or toast
One thick slice of your best garden tomato (or a couple of small thick slices) depending on the size of the tomato.
Two green onions cut in half; use both the green tops and white onion part

Enjoy !

Joe Wootan, Bloomington, In.


Berkeley Tie Dye



Peanut Butter, natural

Your favorite bread

Two think slices of your favorite beefsteak type heirloom tomato

Sea Salt

Before the snickering dies down, I want to say that if you haven't tasted this amazing combination, stop snickering.  You will thank me for this revelation that I have been turning Heirloom growers on to for a long time.
As the name implies, this is a PB&J without the J.  Just spread a natural peanut butter (No Skippy or other hydrogenated concoction) on your favorite bread.  Almost doesn't matter what bread, although wheat seems to get the edge here.  Add two thick slices of your fave beefsteak size Heirloom.  Sprinkle a little sea salt, cover with second slice of bread and start making another one.
It has taken me years to figure out why this is so good.   The answer is elegantly simple.  Its amazing for the same reason a PB&J is such an American favorite.  Tomatoes are fruit and so is jelly. The fruitiness of the tomato creates an even better taste chemistry than Welch's Concord Grape Jelly.

So, laugh all you will, my friends, but remember, he who laughs last, laughs best.

I'll wait for the applause to die down.

Dennis Horlick, Pacific Palisades CA


Some Other Yummy Tomato Recipes....



 Mortgage Lifter

Roasted Tomato Sauce

From Mary Drabik in Minnesota

 5 pounds assorted heirloom tomatoes, cored and quartered

A small head of garlic, cut across the equator

3 basil sprigs

2 oregano sprigs

3 thyme sprigs

1-2 fresh, hot, thin-walled peppers  (I used zagary peppers) optional

¼ cup olive oil

1-tablespoon salt

1-teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Combine above ingredients and roast in a roasting pan for 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on how watery your tomatoes are.

While the tomatoes are roasting: 

Melt: 3 tablespoons butter in a large pot.   Gently cook the following vegetables in the butter  until translucent. 

1 pound onion cut into large dice

1 cup chopped celery

1 cup chopped carrots

 Add the roasted tomato mixture to the vegetables and cook together on a low simmer for 30 minutes.  Use an immersion blender to blend the sauce or cool and blend in a blender of food processor.  Return to heat and reduce the sauce to desired consistency.  This sauce is great and freezes well.  Yield: 2 quarts



Marinated Tomato and Cheese Pasta Sauce

4 ripe large tomatoes cut into ½ inch cubes.  I do not seed the tomatoes. The sauce may be a little more watery but the flavor is TERRIFIC!

 1 pound Brie Cheese, rind removed, cut into irregular pieces

1 cup fresh basil leaves cut into a thin strips (or use small basil leaves from the globe varieties and leave the leaves whole

3 cloves garlic, finely minced

2/3 cup best quality olive oil

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. 

Combine all ingredients in a large serving bowl.  Let stand covered at room temperature for at least 2 hours.

 Cook 1 pound pasta and keep warm.  Stir in the sauce immediately and serve with parmesan cheese, if desired.


From Mary Drabik in Minnesota


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