Tomatoes on Toast

Every year we get a little bit better at growing tomatoes. The first couple of seasons I tried gardening, the yield was pretty pathetic. Over the years I’ve learned that you need to have plenty of sun, deep watering but not too much watering, soil prepped with compost, and a good covering of mulch. I’ve even taken to crumbling up egg shells and placing them at the base of the plants to help the soil with calcium, which can ward off blossom end rot. This year we finally figured out that we need resistant hybrids, tomatoes that can fight against the verticillium wilt that is endemic to our soil. So into the ground went the Celebrity variety, resistant to just about everything, and I’m happy to report that we have a bumper crop of excellent tasting tomatoes. So much so that we are a little overloaded at the moment. What to do when you have a bounty of garden tomatoes?

tomatoes-on-toast-b.jpg

Well, my dad likes making tomato juice, and I have spent the last couple of days canning tomato salsa. This snack, which I’ve made a few times over the last week, is a winner. So simple. It’s just toast, spread with Boursin herbed cheese, topped with sliced fresh garden tomatoes, and sprinkled with coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper. We get freshly baked La Brea bakery French and Italian loaves at the local market, which of course makes a difference. You want a toast that will hold up to the tomato and not just collapse the minute it touches something moist. We just happen to have Boursin in the fridge, but you could easily use any spreadable cheese, like goat cheese, mixed in with a few minced herbs. Easy! And crazy good.

Tomatoes on Toast Recipe

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 2 to 4 as a snack.

If you don't have Boursin cheese, you can use goat cheese with some chopped fresh herbs mixed in. You will find the Boursin easiest to spread if it has been sitting at room temp for 10 minutes or so.

Ingredients

  • 2 to 4 slices of French or Italian loaf bread
  • Herbed Boursin cheese, about 2 Tbsp per slice of bread
  • 1 medium to large vine-ripened tomato
  • Coarse salt (like fleur de sel or even just Kosher salt)
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Method

1 Toast the bread.

2 While the bread is toasting, slice the tomato into 1/4-inch slices.

3 Once the bread is lightly toasted, spread one side with Boursin cheese. Top with a couple slices of tomato, overlapping if necessary. Sprinkle with coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Eat immediately.

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51 Comments

  1. Susan

    We seem to have an explosion of tomatoes this summer too. I’ll have to get some good bread and try this over the coming weekend. Too tired to cook tonight, I had my stand-by, a grilled cheese and tomato sandwich. Thank you for your web site, Elise. I’ve tried dozens of your recipes and enjoyed each one.

  2. Jeannine

    That is my favorite, favorite, favorite summer lunch. Although I usually use a schmear of mayo, sometimes homemade, mostly bought.

    In fact, I had one today. With basil.

  3. Angela

    I love in-season tomatoes with herbed cream cheese on toasted bagels. I LIVED on this meal when in graduate school. So good!

  4. Sam

    This recipe looks delicious. We planted our first plot at the community garden, only to see our once-proud tomato plants wither and decay in early July because of blight. We’ll have to try Celebrity tomatoes next year. Any other recommendations?

    At least our basil turned out.

    Sungolds are also very resistant. If you do a google search for resistant varieties of tomatoes I’m sure you’ll come up with a bunch. ~Elise

  5. Ann

    Yum! I love tomatoes & toast and this looks like a great variation! I like to spread a slice of Italian or sourdough bread (toasted) with some ricotta cheese, sliced chicken breast, and green zebra & red tomatoes and drizzle with a bit of balsamic dressing. Very good and an easy lunch or dinner.

  6. Mike

    Those are great-looking ‘maters!

  7. Kath

    I used to like slices of my Dad’s terrific homegrown tomatoes on buttered toast. It was the taste of summer! Your tomatoes look wonderful.

  8. Teresa

    Sometimes the simplest meals are the best. Thanks for the reminder. Fantastic looking tomatoes, btw!

  9. Christian Gehman

    Thanks for this, Elise … Here in Virginia we’ve had an explosion of tomatoes, preceded by an explosion of redbud (early spring), several Queen Anne’s Lace plants over five feet tall, and then this summer a lush crop of blooms on the crepe myrtle. Seems to me the trees may be extra leafy too. Extra sunshine? Global warming? Just a really early last frost? Peeling, seeding and de-seeding fresh tomatoes, then mashing the result carefully in a stainless saute pan or skillet with some garlic lightly lightly in butter and a dash of white vermouth, all stirred carefully until it coats a spoon like heavy cream makes a good sauce, though it may not hold well. A little Boursin in the sauce might help; and Boursin might hold up to the toast heat better than my favorite Hellman’s, the use of which requires letting the toast cool to just warm. As for the verticillium wilt, you might try growing heirloom tomatoes like Cherokees or Mortgage Lifters in tubs of potting soil. My best to you … and thanks again.

  10. Julie

    My mom makes a summer dish that I love. I guess you’d call it a salad, but it’s so simple.

    Thinly slice gorgeous tomatoes like yours – several. And thinly slice onions. Then you lay the onions in the bottom of a small pyrex dish. Follow with a layer of tomatoes, which you salt and pepper. Then another layer of onions. Then more tomatoes, and again, salt and pepper.

    You do this until there are at least 4 or 5 layers. Cover it with plastic wrap and let sit for an hour or so at least before serving.

    It’s so delicious. We generally serve it alongside either beans or something we’ve grilled, like BBQ chicken.

  11. Farmgirl Susan

    Congratulations on your beautiful bumper tomato crop, Elise! I always love to have the ‘problem’ of too many tomatoes, which doesn’t happen nearly enough here in Missouri, lol. I’ve been loving your tomato juice recipe for the last several years. This summer, though, our small tomato harvest has mostly been going to BLTs. Best summer dinner ever. Your tomato toast looks great – the best way to celebrate tomatoes is usually the simplest.

    You’re right on track with the eggshells, but if you crumble two or three up and put them right in the planting hole, they’ll work even better. I also drop in a couple of aspirin tablets, a teaspoon of epsom salt, a few handfuls of compost, and a little bit of granulated kelp. Cover with a handful of soil and then set your tomato plant root ball on top of it all. Cynthia Sandberg, the tomato queen of Love Apple farm, puts in even more stuff in her planting holes, including a big fish head! :)

    Thank you for the suggestions Susan! ~Elise

  12. lizette

    i have been eating tomato sandwiches at least 4-5 times a week. i have used boursin cheese as a spread but in a pinch plain ol’ helmans works great.

    toast bread, add some spread, add tomato – delicious sandwich!

    congrats on your yield!

  13. Celeste Quinn

    Slices of good rye are also wonderful for this. Or, a toasted bagel. With a mix of mayo and a good thousand island dressing. I always look forward to reading the recipes, stories and posts here at this site! Thank you once again.

  14. Lori

    The tomato looks so red and beautiful! I love tomato on toast and look forward to trying it this way. Thank you for the recipe!

  15. Celeste B.

    I’ve had a pretty good year with my tomatoes, plus they ripened early too. Had to do a lot of watering with all the heat we have had. Tonight we’re having Gazpacho and Pan con Tomate to use up some of the current harvest.

  16. Terry in Colchester, VT

    Hi Elise –

    We also are overrun with tomatoes and basil. We have eaten Caprese Salads until they are coming out of our ears, and I’ve made enough pesto for four families. Canning tomatoes right now and there is no end in sight as the plants are still loaded. I freeze enchilada sauce and marinara, and plain old tomatoes that I can use for anything this winter. It’s nice to use these on a cold February night here in VT and think back on the steamy August days when we harvested them.

    Love the sandwich idea, and it just happens to be lunch time!

  17. Beda

    Elise – I love following your blog, thank you for the time and energy you put into it. From another site (recipedujour.com) comes this seasoned salt Tim’s Tomato Seasoning, which we love.
    2 units kosher salt
    1 units fresh rosemary
    1 units garlic powder
    1 units onion powder
    1 units black pepper
    1 units dried oregano
    1/2 unit cayenne

    Grind up together in a mortar/pestle. Sprinkle on fresh homegrown tomatoes. We also like it on a lot of other things, but it really shines on tomatoes.
    From Tim on recipedujour.com

  18. Hayley

    Oh, how I hate you and your crimson fruit! I’m so jealous. I tried and tried and tried to grow some heirloom tomahtoes(yes, I say tomaHto because I’m from New Zealand), but to no avail.

    TomaHto on toast is my very very very favourite thing.

  19. Harriet B.

    Beautiful tomatoes. Congratulations! I, too, love tomatoes on toast. I’m gluten intolerant, but have found a gluten free bread (Udi brand) that holds up very well toasted. I love hummus under the tomatoes. The tartness is a lovely compliment to the sweetness of the tomatoes. Thanks for all your delicious recipes.

  20. Sue

    I feel your pain with the wilt. I finally gave up this year also and went the resistant hybrids. Love the heirlooms but it was just too painful to see the beautiful plants just up and die.

  21. David

    In my world there is nothing better then a toasted tomato sandwich.I was brought up on them.It is the best part of summer. I am diabetic so I need to eat something with it or my sugar goes in the tank.I just love them….

  22. Linda

    Here in the uk I grow Sungold tomatoes – so very sweet. I slice them and lay on buttered toast sprinkled with black pepper and chopped basil, either dried or fresh and lightly toasted under the grill. This is my favourite snack. Love this recipe and will definitely try because I adore Boursin.

  23. Kalyn

    Perfect way to use up those tomatoes! For me it is just plain tomatoes sandwiches, on crusty 100% whole wheat bread with mayo and sea salt! I can eat them for days on end when the tomatoes are good.

    I have been experimenting with different tomatoes varieties for many years, but Celebrity is the one type I always have several plants of each year. They are so consistently good!

  24. Christine (Cook the Story)

    There’s nothing quite like biting into a garden tomato prepared as simply as possible. You’ve got it just right! Just the thought has taken me back to my Baba and Gee Gee’s garden as a kid where we’d bite into tomatoes as though they were apples, letting the juice drip down our faces. Thank you.

  25. Jesscia

    I love tomato bacon and egg sandwiches. I dont much care for lettuce so just leave it out. My husband and I also eat Tomato, Avocado, and creamy dressing salad. Those are my two favorite ways to use up tomatoes.

  26. Lynn

    When I first saw the picture it reminded my of something my mother used to do. She would send my sister and I out to the garden to pick our own tomato, then after she sliced it, she would let us each put a couple slices on our own piece of bread and sprinkle a little oregano and either grated Romano or Parmesan, after we had them ‘perfect’, she would drizzle them with olive oil and stick them in the oven for 20 minutes or so.

  27. jennifer

    My celebrity tomatoes were wonderful this year… until the deer ate them.
    I totally agree on the eggshells. I always add them to my tomatoes and to my compost too!

  28. Jesse Gardner

    This may sound blasphemous to some, but how about some artisan mayo under the tomatoes?

  29. Tracy

    I have done something very similar. I take thin sliced tomato and thin sliced zuchinni and grill them for just a couple of minutes. Then I layered them on good toast with goat cheese. Delish!

  30. Diedre

    After reading these delicious posts, a thought came to me. Has anyone ever made a BLT using Boursin cheese on the tomato side perhaps with fresh basil leaves? I think it might work–will give it a try. Also our experience with Heirloom Cherokee tomatoes is they are difficult at best to grow as they have very brittle branches and stems that break when it’s windy.

  31. Shelly

    Tomato sandwiches are the best! Add a cob of fresh picked corn, and life is complete. My childhood tastes linger, so it’s Miracle Whip on the toast, but I’ll try the boursin tonight.

    Tomato blight is the worst! We’ve had good luck with the following method:
    - Keep trimming off leaves and branches on the young plants until the lowest are at least a foot, preferably 18 inches from the ground.
    -Mulch under the plants so no splash can carry blight spores up from the soil.
    - Water from below if possible- small scale drip irrigation systems are available at home improvement stores.
    -If you find a plant with blight, pull it out immediately, and dispose of away from the garden.
    We have over 100 plants this year, so far, so good. Good luck to all of you growing this most wonderful crop!

  32. Addy Killion

    I enjoy making my own “boursin cheese” from yogurt. I use the plain kind (without geletin); simply drain a cup of yogurt in cheesecloth for 8 to 12 hours, or overnight, in the refridgerator. Put the cheesecloth over a bowl to catch the whey (liquid) that seperates from the yogurt. The longer you let it drain the thicker your cheese will be. It is tasty plain, but also nice to add your favorite herbs, chopped chives, parsley or taragon.

  33. Anna H.

    Yes! Tomatoes on toast! I do something similar with my tomatoes: I top thick slabs of heirloom tomatoes with Parmesan cheese, freshly ground black pepper and a bit of butter or olive oil, broil them, then serve the slices on toast. It’s the perfect summer breakfast!

    As for what to do with a truly bumper crop of tomatoes, have you ever tried slow-roasting them and freezing them? We chop them, drizzle them with good extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle on a little kosher salt, then roast at 270ºF for several (we’re talking ~5-6) hours. Towards the end we add some chopped fresh thyme and basil. Then we cool them, bag them in quart-sized freezer bags, and freeze them. When we want the world’s best tomato sauce in the dead of winter, we just sautee some onions and garlic, add a baggie of thawed tomatoes, and we’re golden!

  34. Nicole

    This sounds like it may be similar to one of my favorites: Tomatoes with cream cheese and lemon pepper. Delish!

  35. Louise

    My dad makes a delicious spicy tomato soup when he has extras. If I ever get the recipe out of him I’ll share!

  36. Lisa

    Yummy!! I’ve got a Celebrity planted right now that is going nuts. I’m going to be inundated with ripe tomatoes at some point and this is a good way to eat them. Thanks!

  37. jeri

    It’s not very elegant, but sometimes I just have to have old-time squishy white bread, lots of mayo, only the very best August tomatoes and a little salt. It totally falls apart by the end and the juice runs down your arms, so it’s best eaten over the sink. It’s my summertime guilty pleasure.

  38. sandy price

    We are on our second pot of tomato bisque, because we fought over the left-overs – really! Easy – sweat lots of chopped onions, several smashed garlic cloves, a couple of handfuls of chopped celery and carrots until translucent. Add two or three cups of tomato juice and either broth or water. If you add water, add additional salt, pepper, herbs of your choice. Simmer till flavors are well-mingled. Add your ripest – your over-ripe – tomatoes. The first time I did not skin them, but the second time I peeled off what came easily to make the blending easier. Add the tomatoes to the broth, along with a quarter cup of chopped sun dried tomatoes – I used the kind packed in oil so if yours are dried, give them time to hydrate – or some organic tomato paste for intensity. Simmer for a while longer, then turn off the heat. When it’s cooled somewhat, take an immersion tool of some sort and blend the mixture, or run it in batches through a blender. Salt & pepper again to taste, and toss in another handful of cut-up sun dried tomatoes. I added a couple tablespoons of light balsamic – any light-flavored vinegar would do. I actually used the end of the vinegar from a jar of capers for my first batch. This soup was great hot or cold, and relieved me of all guilt associated with good tomatoes going bad. Sorry this recipe was so nonspecific about proportions but I cook like that.

  39. elizabeth

    When I have a bumper crop of tomatoes, I have a salsa marathon . . .

  40. Maura

    I can’t believe it! I just told my sister I was having my favorite dinner and came in and saw this! My version is slices of ciabatta run under the broiler (both sides) to toast, then topped with sliced onion, sliced garden tomato, crumbled feta, salt/pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. Run back under the broiler to soften up the feta a bit and then sprinkle with good wine vinegar. Add a glass of wine, and you’ve got heaven.

  41. Lisa

    I adore tomatoes on toast!! A drizzle of olive oil, a leaf of fresh basil from my garden and I am in heaven!!!

  42. Sharon

    If you really want to up the ‘yum factor’, scrape a garlic clove over your toast first and finish off all the ingredients with a little drizzle of olive oil.

  43. Espahan

    Celebrity is my favorite tomato for all around reliability and their determinate behavior, they don’t take up as much room, and they fit in my cages without sprawling. I grow these every year plus a couple of new varieties to test out in my small veggie garden. Nothing beats the taste of a home grown tomato – nothing!

  44. doodles

    When we lived in CT years ago, husband did the gentleman farmer thing. First year he had a bumper crop of the most tasty tomatoes I have yet to taste any better. I had to come up with some new ideas of ways to eat tomatoes. Our pigs thought they were a treat. I like to melt a good english cheddar over the tomatoes. Thanks for sparking my memory Elise.

  45. Natasha

    This looks beautiful and so tasty! I love that it’s so simple. I will be trying this with the last of our summer tomatoes!

  46. kris

    wonderful pictures, thank you, elise, for your blog. here’s another idea for dealing with very ripe, big summer tomatoes. i like to slice them rather thick (2 cm) and fry them gently in butter–not oil. after 10′ or so, turn the slices once with a spatula. then, when the sauce starts thickening, i put a few slices of jambon cru (type jambon de bayonne, or any other cured ham–but definitely not plain white ham) on top of the tomatoes and let them sort of ‘melt’. then sprinkle with some freshly ground black pepper, and if you wish, a shredded basil leaf. serve with some good fresh bread to mop up the sauce. this is the taste of summer for me.

  47. Janine

    My mom used to make broiled bacon, tomato and cheese open faced sandwiches. Just put a smear of mustard on the toast and top with bacon, tomato and your favorite cheese.

  48. Meagan

    This looks fabulous! I love that cheese spread.

  49. magda

    beautiful tomatoes! i love this vegetables!:)
    this toasts looks really delicious!

  50. Greedy Traveller

    This looks delicious. With good quality ingredients the most simple dishes can be amazing. One of my favourite dishes on a recent trip to Venice was tomato and basil bruschetta – sitting outside with a glass of wine…

    It is a shame that a lot of supermarket tomatoes are nothing like the delicious home-grown variety. My parents have just been given their annual box of tomatoes from their next door neighbour – I had a few last week and they were lovely.

  51. Ilona

    I just had this for breakfast today! (But with a creamy ricotta) Tomorrow I’m going to add a little smear of avocado. :)

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