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Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Relish the Red

Posted June 27, 2008 7:29 a.m. EDT

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?