It's a cliché at this point, but it remains true that with good quality ingredients, you don't need to do much. This is especially true with peak summer tomatoes. In the case of this recipe, I amped up the classic summertime sandwich (bread, mayo, tomatoes) with smoky grilled bread, homemade mayonnaise spiked with plenty of garlic and lemon, and super juicy heirloom tomatoes. The result is a pretty perfect August lunch. (Full disclosure: I made these intending to serve them as an appetizer, then Ari and I ended up devouring them for dinner. No judgement if you make it for breakfast too.)
Don't skip the homemade mayonnaise—I was never a huge fan of the jarred stuff, but this is a whole different animal. You can make it in just a few minutes using a food processor or blender—I used a hand blender for easy clean-up. Use ultra-pasteurized eggs if you're concerned about salmonella, and the mayo will keep for up to two weeks in the fridge. I use half canola oil and half olive oil for cost, but for a lighter mayo you can use all canola or vegetable oil, and for one with more olive flavor, use all olive oil. The general rule is that 1 egg will bind with up to 1 cup of oil, so feel free to experiment.
Tomato Toast with Homemade Mayonnaise (serves 4)
2 garlic cloves
Up to 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup canola oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon, plus more as needed
4 slices rustic bread, such as pain au levain
1/3 cup olive oil
2-4 heirloom tomatoes, depending on size
Flaky sea salt, such as Maldon
1 Tablespoon fresh oregano leaves
Make Mayonnaise: Mince the garlic, adding a pinch of salt as you chop until it forms a paste. Add the garlic to a medium bowl and whisk in the egg. Combine the olive and canola oil in a measuring cup with a spout or small pitcher. Slowly add the oil in a very slow stream to the egg, whisking constantly or using a hand blender. Alternatively, place the egg and garlic in a food processor or blender and add the oils in a slow stream while blending.
The mixture will be very creamy and thick. Add lemon juice and salt to taste. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
Grill Bread: Preheat a grill or cast iron grill pan over medium-high and brush with oil. Generously brush each slice of bread with olive oil on both sides. Grill until browned and grill marks are visible, 2 to 3 minutes per side.
Assemble Toast: Slice each tomatoes crosswise. Slather mayo onto each slice of bread, then top with tomato slices. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt and oregano leaves. Serve immediately.