I’ve known some toasts in my time. I’m well acquainted with avo, though I prefer a smear of ricotta and orange jam for breakfast these days. I make a regular pilgrimage to Hart’s for their clam toast, and don’t get me started on this caramelized leek number from Botanica—I’ve made it too often to count. But tomato toast? Never met the guy.
Until Bon Appétit’s August Simple Issue came out, and I came face to face with this gorgeous photo of hyper-red and juicy tomatoes resting on a cloud-like swipe of mayo all on top of crisp, olive-oil-soaked bread. Oh, hi, hello there, I don’t believe we’ve been introduced.
The recipe, by senior food editor Andy Baraghani, is hardly a recipe at all. (We called it the “Simple Issue” for a reason.) You toast some bread, stir mayo with a little grated garlic and lemon juice, and thinly slice a few tomatoes. Then come the garnishes, and there are A LOT. Here at BA, we call this kind of garnish frenzy “peak Andy.” You’ve got—wait for it—sesame seeds, minced chives, flaky salt, cracked pepper, Aleppo-style pepper, olive oil, and lemon zest. Roll your eyes all you want, but it makes for one good-looking toast (actually, four toasts). I forgot the lemon zest, and it was still the most-liked photo I’ve ever put on the internet. [Note from Andy: “She should really have gone for the lemon zest.”]
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Oh, and they’re incredible. I served these guys for a family brunch alongside a platter of scrambled eggs with Swiss chard. The tomatoes’ sweet acidity played off the garlicky mayo, which softened right into the still-warm bread. The sesame seeds lent subtle crunch; the Aleppo pepper gave the slightest suggestion of heat. If you’re not into the idea of mayo and tomato juice dripping down your wrists, you’ll want to grab a fork and knife for this one. But then I have to ask, what kind of summer eater are you?