Heirloom Tomato Toast

With the sun shining and temperatures rising, I’ve been happy to see Spring and Summer produce trickle into my local grocer. I’m still waiting for cherry season, but in the meantime have been happy to load up on peaches, avocados, and unique heirloom tomatoes.

I’ve not always been a huge tomato fan. I remember as a child disgustedly picking the tomato chunks out of my tomato sauce. And raw tomatoes? Unthinkable. No, I’m afraid that I didn’t willingly eat raw tomatoes until I was 20. I was studying abroad in Europe with a group of classmates the summer between my sophomore and junior year of college. I can’t remember if it happened in Germany when the tomatoes were likely soaked in a horseradish dressing, or if it wasn’t until we were in France and I was suddenly eating all of the tomato basil things.

S, unfortunately, has yet to fully appreciate raw tomatoes. Much to my surprise, when we were out to dinner with friends a few weeks ago, he excitedly devoured a pasta dish that had raw red and yellow tomatoes, even demanding that I try one of the pieces on his plate.

S was able to pinpoint the appeal of these was their lower acidity, as confirmed by the gospel – google

So when we were grocery shopping the next day and I spotted the irregularly shaped, “ugly” tomatoes in a rainbow of green, yellow, orange & red – I happily purchased a few, unsure of what I’d do with them.

On a warm afternoon that week, after raiding my fridge – I had an idea. Tomato toast for a late lunch, or perfect afternoon snack. Tomato basil is one of my favorite flavor combinations. I was sure that I’d miss the fresh basil taste without having the fresh leaves on hand. But because of the herbaceous chèvre, my tastebuds were happy!

I began with my current favorite bread – a purple wheat walnut loaf from aforementioned grocery store, but any crusted bread will do. Into the toaster it went, until it was lightly toasted.

I then carefully spread Purple Haze Goat cheese, from Cypress Grove Chèvre. It is packed with lavender and fennel pollen, giving the cheese a fresh herbal flavor. If you aren’t familiar with goat cheese, it can be a bit difficult to spread on warm bread. To not completely butcher your toast, it is best to let the cheese acclimate closer to room temperature from the fridge before use.

And then, come the beautiful tomatoes! Slice to your heart’s content. I used two different tomatoes, but combined only used approximately 1/2 of a tomato in total.

Topped with freshly ground salt and pepper and voila! You have a perfect lunch, or afternoon snack.


Credit: Lauren of Creature & Cave
Serves: 2

Ingredients

  • 4 slices of whole grain, hearty bread (2 per person)
  • 2 ounces Purple Haze from Cypress Grove Chèvre. It can be found in most grocery stores, but any herbed cheese like a Boursin will do.
  • 1 Large Heirloom Tomato
  • Salt & Pepper

Directions

  1. Remove cheese from refrigerator ~15 minutes in advance.
  2. Toast bread to desired crispness – I like my bread hot with edges crispy, but not a whole lot of color change.
  3. Slice tomatoes
  4. Assemble: Spread cheese on toasted bread, top with tomato slices
  5. Add salt & pepper to taste.
  6. Serve & enjoy!

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