Love and Olive Oil

Open-Faced Heirloom Tomato Sandwiches

Open-Faced Heirloom Tomato Sandwiches

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. There are few things that can compare to the Tennessee tomato. It’s one of the few things that makes the heat and humidity of summer bearable.

Open-Faced Heirloom Tomato Sandwiches

So much of our lives are spent waiting. Waiting for the weekend. Waiting for the next paycheck. Waiting for the fall and cooler weather.

But what if you just took a breath, forced yourself to slow down, to appreciate what you have in this very moment.

It’s not hard to do when you’re savoring the perfect simplicity of this tomato sandwich. No amount of heat can ruin the fact that this moment is pretty darn spectacular.

Open-Faced Heirloom Tomato Sandwiches

I’d argue that there is no more perfect lunch. Lightly toasted bread spread with tangy goat cheese, topped with slices of juicy heirloom tomatoes, and dotted with slices of briny kalamata olives and ribbons of fresh basil.

You could use mozzarella cheese. You could add garlic and capers or a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. The only critical element is the tomato: it must be one of those tomatoes that makes your eyes roll back in your head. The kind you’d bite in to like an apple if no one was watching. Homegrown. Perfectly ripe. Gnarly and wrinkly and ugly in its beauty. Red, green, yellow, purple, or orange or any shade in between. Maybe you grow them in your backyard (color me green with envy) or maybe you buy them at your local farmer’s market. Either way, this sandwich can only be as extraordinary as the tomato it showcases.

Open-Faced Heirloom Tomato Sandwiches

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4 slices sandwich or crusty bread, lightly toasted
1/2 cup goat cheese, room temperature
2 medium heirloom tomatoes (about 1 lb), cored and sliced
10 kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
1 handful fresh basil leaves, sliced into thin ribbons
extra virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


To assemble sandwiches, spread goat cheese evenly over toasted bread. Arrange a single layer of tomato slices on top. Sprinkle with olives and basil; drizzle with olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper.

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  1. Love the colors!!!!! Looks like this might be my lunch today, with handpicked heirlooms from the garden:)

  2. when people tell me they hate tomatoes, i think to myself, ‘you haven’t had a real tomato!’

  3. Those do look like some pretty tasty tomatoes! This is my idea of a perfect lunch.

  4. Bread and tomatoes from my garden is often a breakfast for me. Olive oil, basil leaves and tomatoes, or goat cheese and tomatoes. Follow fruit and a couple cups of espresso and I am happy.

  5. I love tomato sandwiches and I’m especially excited about trying this one!

  6. So easy! And it looks lovely :)

  7. Love this kind of recipes, simple yet full of flavors. One has to find the right tomatoes: ripe to perfection, tasty and just gorgeous.
    I will start my hunt at tomorrow’s farmers market and if I succeed I’m gonna fix me this for lunch: yay!

  8. Sorry…what I was trying to say is that these are simply perfect!

  9. Yes, t

  10. these look delish!

  11. Fresh heirloom tomatoes! They’re the best part of August by far. :) That sandwich looks amazing–love the olive addition!

  12. I read the tomato section of the heirloom seed catalog like it’s porn. You can imagine what the first bite of the season does to me.

  13. I love the fact how “simply” beautiful this is! Most of the time everyone tends to forget how just one ingredient can make a dish powerful all by itself – this is a perfect example. Lovely photographs, as usual. :-)

  14. open-faced sammies are great- you can fit more into them that way :)

  15. I am SO going to miss heirloom tomatoes once the season ends. This looks like the perfect way to use what’s left of them this summer!

  16. Oh yes I totally agree with you on this one! Goat cheese, and fresh tomatoes are amazing together. These little pieces of bread look beautiful! I never thought of adding olives, so thank you!

  17. This looks wonderful!

  18. The tomato sandwich is one of my favorite things about summer. This is beautiful!

  19. This is so beautiful, Lindsay! I adore goat cheese and tomatoes and just discovered that I actually like olives!

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