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Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Relish the Red

Posted June 27, 2008

It is time to sharpen our knives and relish the red. Tomato season has arrived in North Carolina. Is it safe to eat North Carolina tomatoes? You bet it is! That is the word from the FDA.

You've heard about the salmonella outbreak associated with certain tomatoes coming out of Florida and Mexico. Well, North Carolina grown tomatoes have been given a clean bill of health and today the state will celebrate the juicy Tar Heel crop. Tomato Day will be held at the State Farmer's Market in Raleigh from 11:00A.M.to 1:00P.M. Free recipes will be available. Also, NC Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler will be on hand to answer questions about the integrity of the NC crop.

Today's question: What are your rituals and recipes for tomato sandwiches? My heart beats faster just thinking about it. I think I now have the ultimate tomato sandwich. Let me share my recipe.

Toasted sour dough bread coated with Duke's Mayonnaise, ripe NC tomatoes sprinkled lightly with salt and pepper and topped with crisply cooked center cut bacon, a healthy layer of fresh basil leaves and twin mozzarella cheese slices. Summer cuisine does not get any better than that!

Can anyone top that?

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  • Wheelman Jun 27, 2008

    Oh, but Bill have you ever tried Mountain Dew on your Cheerios? I like mayo but grew up with Miracle Whip. It has a different slightly spicy/sweet taste that really accents the tomatoes. Soft white bread, Miracle Whip, salt and pepper. Umm...Umm! For a change try a tomato club. 3 peices of lightly toasted bread, good tomato, mayo or Miracle Whip, 10-12 slices of bacon, slivers of red onion, american cheese, salt and pepper. Bread, layer of mayo, slice of cheese, bacon, tomato, onion, salt/pepper, mayo, bread, mayo, cheese, bacon, tomato, onion, salt/pepper, mayo and bread. Side order of your favorite beverage and they can roll you out. Or, core out stem side of tomato, slice in wedges part of the way down, fill with a big spoonful of my secret recipe chicken salad, sprinkle with fresh chopped basil, chives or tarragon. You'll fight your grandma for it!

  • davidgnews Jun 27, 2008

    We just picked up some fresh ones on the way to Goldsboro, at one of those roadside veggie stands. Other than the Farmer's Market, it just doesn't get any better than this !!!

    From sandwiches to spaghetti sauces, you just can't lose.

  • murdock Jun 27, 2008

    I like my tomato sandwich with Duke's mayo, pepper, cucumber slices, ham and cheese. When I was a kid a ham and tomato sandwich with Doritos was the best. My mouth is watering already!

  • seahawksforpack Jun 27, 2008

    For those of us at work - Cook Out - has a great BLT - it is on a bun and the slice of tomato is as big as the bun. You can't beat it for 99 cents!

  • blytle Jun 27, 2008

    owlady, just thinking about that combination makes my stomach hurt! lol

  • owlady Jun 27, 2008

    I like tomato, bacon, and peanut butter on toasted bread.

    If you have not tried it, don't say, yuck! LOL .. It's a great taste combination!!

  • MyKidRox Jun 27, 2008

    Grilled cheese and tomato is the best! Standard white bread, buttered on both sides, Kraft Deluxe American singles a dab of Duke's mayo on each slide and fresh, sliced tomatoes. Grilling in a black, cast-iron skillet is always best since they are 'seasoned' but anyway you like to grill your grilled cheese would work.

  • SwtSuthrnSass Jun 27, 2008

    It's funny....I am eating my mater sammich as I read this! I made mine on wheat breat with some Dukes, salt and pepper...just the way my mama taught me. She loved maters so much that she would eat them on sammiches almost every day when they were in season...to the point it would break her mouth and face out from all the acid. She didn't care...said a few bumps weren't keeping her from a mater sammich!

  • bleslie Jun 27, 2008

    jd - we should blog next week about unusual food combinations.

  • jdlewis76 Jun 27, 2008

    Stephen King used to fry Cheerios and peanut butter for supper when he was a young starving writer.

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