Friday, August 29, 2014

The Most Amazing Tomato Sandwich...EVER!

I'm all for tradition.  Hellman's slathered all over two slices of soft white bread, piled high with garden ripened tomatoes, that makes a pretty darn good sandwich.  But last summer I came across something that makes freshly picked tomatoes even better. I found a version of this recipe in Bon Appetit (July 2011). The page was torn out and shoved in one of my many folders full of recipes to try.  Only I actually had drawn a star above the recipe for "Chicken Breasts with Tomato-Herb Pan Sauce".  Perhaps I tried it, liked it and filed this page away.  I don't recall.  I actually adapted this recipe for "Basil Rouille" from the recipe for a Bouillabaisse that occupies the same page as the chicken dish.  I never tried the Bouillabaisse. I don't plan on it.
Anyway, back to the "Rouille".  It adds the perfect amount of salti-umaniness to slices of fresh tomato.  It also allows me to utilize the basil "bushes" that Val miraculously grows in her garden.  Seriously, these plants are huge and someone has to take advantage of the abundant harvest. But the uses for this delectable spread don't stop at tomato sandwiches: it makes BLT's even more delicious, dollop it on salads, grilled vegetables or serve it as a dip. I can't get enough of it so I keep a batch on hand at all times for tomato harvest.  And I always lick the spoon.

Basil Rouille
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup (packed) fresh basil leaves
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 teaspoons anchovy butter
zest from 1/2 lemon
juice from 1/2 lemon
Mince garlic cloves and transfer to blender.  Add basil and olive oil.  Puree, stopping to scrape down sides, if needed.  Add mayonnaise, anchovy butter, lemon zest and lemon juice.  Puree until combined.  Store in refrigerator for up to one week.

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