Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Tomato bliss

Posted June 29, 2010

Summer with its sweltering heat can be miserable. The agony, however, completely vanishes at the sight of my first real tomato sandwich of the year. It happened over the weekend and it was a beautiful thing. It began with a trip to the State Farmer’s Market.

I used to be a purist: white bread, Duke mayonnaise, luscious tomatoes, crisp bacon, salt and pepper. That was all I required to be satisfied. Then, Lynda Loveland exposed me to the joys of basil and now I must apply this fragrant low-growing herb to every tomato sandwich. Plus, I’ve also added a healthy slice of mozzarella cheese and substituted rye and sourdough bread. And if anyone has some homemade pesto I might put a layer of that on the sandwich as a substitute for mayo and basil.

What is the perfect BLT? How about some wild and crazy recipes? I’d love to hear them. We should mellow as we get older. We should be more open to change. Let’s try something new on our beloved BLT this year. Tell us how you make your sandwich or tell us where we can go find the ultimate BLT.

And while you are thinking about tomato sandwiches don’t forget to add your favorite county restaurant and signature dish.



Please with your account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • beachbum65 Jul 8, 2010

    Just reading this blog and all of the comments is making me hungry! Thank goodness it is almost lunchtime! I have been eating at least one tomatoe a day (usually more) for about the last 2 weeks. I remember as a child growing up in rural eastern NC and eating them right off the vine!! I used to get those nasty little "ulcers" on the inside of my lip and my mom always said it was from "eatin' too many tomatoes!!" I don't know if she was right or not, but it was and still is worth it! The idea of fresh basil sounds great, so that's how I'm having my sandwich today!

  • wp Jul 8, 2010

    Love tomatoes in the summer time. Get them from the local farmer's market. I like BLT's, but I'd rather just eat the tomato, no sandwich...slice it up, a little salt, a little vinegar! YUM!!!!!!!

  • awomnsptofview Jul 6, 2010

    Every year my husband has a small garden. As his cancer progresses, it keeps getting smaller. The highlight every year in our local church is "Bro. Dennis's" tomatoes. He gives the pastor's family a bag first, then every week he distributes them to all the members. One member in particular is a retired minister of 70 years old. She is also a widow and mostly blinded by diabetes. She is a very slim, prissy, outspoken and joyous member. She does not eat anyone's tomatoes but my husband's. Here is her recipe on eating a "Brother Dennis tomato". Cut in cubes, sprinkle a little salt and pepper on it and a tablespoon of Miracle Whip ((YAK YAK GAG GAG on the miracle Whip ) and takes a fork and eats the entire tomato this way. The bigger the better. That is her entire meal that night. The pastor and his family is lving in her house which works well for all of them. Now the children are in the habit of telling us that "Sister Capps" is out of tomatoes. We have had tomatoes as late as Dece

  • maeveduir Jun 30, 2010

    Oh my! Skip the sandwich part altogether. Just give me a fresh tomato, heated by the sun, fresh off the vine. Used to bite into them like apples when I was a kid and let the juices just drip. So good...

  • thefensk Jun 30, 2010

    to jstcurious0124 -- yes! adding some hot peppers is good too.

  • VT1994Hokie Jun 29, 2010

    Toasted rye bread, or mama's homemade bread thinly sliced. A spread of Dukes, tomato, bacon bits & cheese, and a crisp piece of lettuce. Simply add a touch of salt and pepper. If we were too starved to wait for the toast, then we always had some white bread.

    That's the way we did it in Stokes County.

  • bgb Jun 29, 2010

    Summer time makes me think of a BLT,nothing like it .I like it on white bread mayo and bacon and lots of black pepper on it and also a little sugar.It takes me back in time I remember eating them alot when I was growing up.

  • jstcurious0124 Jun 29, 2010

    Ever tried a grilled cheese with tomatoes? MMM MMM MMMM Wheat bread with Dukes mayo, a slice of cheese and then sliced tomatoes. Cook just like a grilled cheese....just have extra napkins on hand. Very good samich!!

  • ECU4lyf Jun 29, 2010

    Bill, I'm still a purist, but I have switched bread, whole wheat with several pieces of very crisp bacon, DUKES mayo, lettuce, and some fresh off the vine home grown tomato slices. The basil does sound good, so you may have me trying that one pretty soon

  • mamananagramps Jun 29, 2010

    My favorite is very old fashioned..I like honey wheat lite bread with tomato slices, salt and pepper and Hellmans Mayo..Best to stand over the sink and ENJOY!!




Meet the Author
Bill Leslie