These sandwiches are my latest obsession.
I thought I would wait until summer to blog about this recipe. You know, because that would be when tomatoes are in season, and perhaps I'd make them with heirloom tomatoes of differing colors so that the photos would be beautiful.
But then I considered that lackluster winter tomatoes don't stop me from wanting to make these sandwiches twice a week! There's just so much else going on--the crunchy sourdough bread, the garlicky mayo, the salty pancetta--all the different flavors screaming for attention.
Take it from me: don't wait until it's summertime to make these sandwiches. Make them today!
- "Ain't No Rest for the Wicked"...Cage the Elephant
- "American Idiot"...Green Day
- "Jar of Hearts"...Christina Perri
- "50 Ways to Say Goodbye"...Train
- "How Far We've Come"...Matchbox Twenty
- "Runaround"...Blues Traveler
- "Kick Drum Heart"...The Avett Brothers
Open-Faced Tomato Sandwiches with Garlic Mayo & Pancetta
( Four Sandwiches, Total Time: about 20 minutes)
- 4 slices sourdough bread
- 2 large or 3 medium-sized tomatoes, sliced about 1/4-inch thick
- 4 to 6 slices pancetta (between 1 and 2 ounces, from the deli, sliced as thin as possible)
- 3 tablespoons melted butter
- salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh tarragon
- 1 clove roasted garlic, crushed
notes: substitute prosciutto for the pancetta; use dill instead of tarragon; click here for roasted garlic recipe (if using fresh garlic instead of roasted garlic, only use half of a clove).
Gather your ingredients. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Place the pancetta on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Bake until crispy, about 15 minutes.
Here's the shot of the ingredients again, with a slight twist to the right.
He's always there. Looking at me.
Sometimes, for me, the most difficult part of cooking is trying not to trip over Clyde. Or to not allow myself to be swayed by those pleading puppy-dog eyes. And now, back to our recipe.
While the pancetta bakes, brush one side of each bread slice with the melted butter.
Heat a grill pan (or a frying pan if you don't have a grill pan) over medium-high heat.
Place the bread slices, buttered-side down, into the pan. Brush the tops with the remaining butter.
Flip the bread when the bottoms just begin to get crispy. You don't really want to completely toast the bread so that it's dry and crumbly, you just want a bit of crunchy texture and color. The bread should still have some bend and plenty of chew (ahh, sourdough!) left to it.
Toast the other side until just starting to show color and beginning to crisp.
Next, prepare the mayo. Place the mayo and tarragon into a small bowl.
Crush in the roasted garlic.
You can click here to be taken to my recipe for roasted garlic (along with more gratuitous photos of Clyde and Gus).
Stir the mayo to combine. Set aside until your pancetta is baked and crispy.
When the pancetta is cool enough to handle, roughly chop into small pieces.
To assemble the sandwiches:
Lightly brush each slice of bread with the mayo (you will have more mayo than you need...so if you really love mayonnaise and feel the need to slather it on, go ahead)!
Arrange the tomato slices on top of the bread, overlapping as necessary.
Sprinkle the chopped pancetta on top of the tomatoes. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
I skipped the salt because I think the pancetta adds just the right amount of saltiness.
I wish I had a way to make these jump off the screen and onto a plate for you. They are just so good.