Friday, October 23, 2009

Crusty on the Outside, Soft on the Inside

A friend brought me a big fat Jersey heirloom tomato the other day that she had received in a shipment from the East coast. It was the plumpest. juiciest tomato I have ever seen and I wanted to do something special with it so I asked my friends for advice on what to make.

I received a dozen comments including:
“Slice or just bite into it”
“Salt and straight up”
“Olive oil and fresh mozzarella”
“Drizzle warm balsamic over it with cracked black pepper and some fresh basil sprigs”
“Arugula, sherry gastrique, micro sourdough croutons and manchego cheese”

Although these were all good suggestions, I wasn’t in the mood for a cold salad on the first evening in the desert that I actually felt a perceptible whiff of Fall and the absence of the brutal summer heat so I decided to get creative and make a new twist on an old and solid gold comfort food, the BLT.

I had a few slices of California Pizza Kitchen bread left over from my salad lunch—bread, which I never end up actually eating but that suddenly seemed quite appealing for the task. Something about the thickness of CPK bread has always appealed to me, as well as the ovular shape small enough for the perfect decadent sandwich. It became the perfect bread for this meal that upon grilling created a crust on the outside but stayed airy soft on the inside. This mixed with the mellow room temperature warm, soft and perfect tomato, and the slightly grainy crunch of a bacon-mayonnaise became the ultimate textural combination worthy of trying with your leftover CPK bread.


2 pieces of leftover CPK bread
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
2 slices of bacon, cooked well done and crumbled
1 large, minimum ½ inch thick slice of heirloom tomato
2 tablespoons butter
Cracked pepper and salt to taste

Melt butter in pan and place two slices of bread in side by side and grill until golden brown crust forms on bottom. Use a rolling pin to reduce the bacon strip to powdery crumbles and then mix the bacon with the mayonnaise. Slather both sides of the bread with the mayonnaise and add the tomato slice with salt and pepper to taste.


  1. Kimmie, I'm loving your blog! I was lucky enough to find heirloom tomatoes at Whole Foods last week and cherished every last bite! I prepared mine simply:

    Sliced, topped with a little coarse sea salt and Himalayan pink salt (grated from my salt slab)

    A little cracked back pepper, drizzled with olive oil and a smidgen of balsamic

  2. sounds good, Kim. Glad you enjoyed a taste of Southern New Jersey.

  3. Patty that pink salt grated from a salt slab sounds insane....and amazing...