If “asparagus with scrambled eggs” is my favorite time of year, “tomato sandwich” is a close second. And this week marked my first local-tomato sandwich of the summer. Unlike asparagus with scrambled eggs, a tomato sandwich can be easily assembled for lunch at the office, where we have all the requisite equipment: a knife and a toaster.
This is not the time for ciabatta or artisanal, rustic loaves. You want a classic white American sandwich bread, like Arnold or Pepperidge Farm. Toast the bread lightly. Spread it thinly but surely with real mayonnaise. Using a serrated knife, cut a small tomato as thin as you can. (Thinly slicing the tomato is key here so that you can easily bite through the sandwich without taking half of the tomatoes with you.) Pile half the sliced tomato on a slice of bread. Sprinkle with salt and then pile on the rest of the tomato. Use more salt, and then top with the second slice of bread. Slice the sandwich diagonally, lay in a supply of napkins, roll up your sleeves and eat.
It only heightens the joy I take in a tomato sandwich that the heroine of my favorite children’s book, “Harriet the Spy,” ate one for lunch every day.