While my summers as a kid were relatively quiet, there was one thing that I looked forward to every single year -- the week I got to spend with my grandparents. This trip was something special that I got to do without my sister or brother, and I loved having my grandparents all to myself. I got a taste of their day-to-day lives, a chance to meet their friends and see their favorite places. I'm thoroughly convinced that these visits are the main reason why I call my grandmother every Sunday, to make sure we stay connected.
Sometimes, in the mornings, my grandfather and I would sit on the swing in my grandparents' backyard and talk about everything we could possibly think of. When I was younger, that typically meant me peppering him with questions. My grandfather was my hero (he still is!), and I wanted to know everything he knew.
Sometimes, before we went into the house for lunch, my grandfather would pluck a couple of ripe tomatoes from one of the tomato plants in their garden and tell me he had a special mission for us. Then we'd go into the kitchen and tell my grandmother that we were making lunch.
He'd slice the tomato and show me how to season both sides evenly with salt and pepper. Then he'd lay the slices between pieces of toasted pumpernickel bread, which he then cut on the diagonal. We'd serve up the sandwiches on paper plates alongside generous handfuls of Goldfish crackers.
It was such a simple sandwich, and I was convinced that it had magical powers just because my grandfather made it.
To this day, I still love tomato sandwiches on toasted pumpernickel bread. They always make me think of my grandfather and our summers together. But times when I want to jazz things up. When I'm in the mood to take things to the next level, I mash up an avocado with salt, pepper, and the tiniest bit of extra-virgin olive oil and spread the avocado on one of the pieces of bread.
Buttery and creamy, avocado is the perfect accompaniment to a fresh, juicy tomato. If you're looking for a simple sandwich that will help you keep summer on your mind, then try this one out. And, if you can make the sandwich while the tomato is still warm from the sun, then all the better.
Fresh Tomato and Avocado Sandwiches - Serves 2Printable Recipe
- 1 vine-ripe tomato, sliced 1/4-inch thick*
- 1 ripe avocado, pitted and diced
- 1/2 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 4 slices pumpernickel bread, toasted
- Season the tomato slices with salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, mash together the avocado and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Place two slices of the toasted pumpernickel bread on your cutting board. Spread half of the avocado mixture on one slice and half on the other.
- Lay two slices of seasoned tomatoes on each of the avocado-topped pieces of bread. Top with the remaining pieces of toasted bread.
- Slice the sandwiches in half and serve immediately.
* From the garden is best, but you can obviously make this sandwich any time you find good-quality produce in your local market.