Sunday, September 4, 2011

A Certain Je Ne Sais Quoi . . .

Back when I did a post on the perfect tomato sandwich,  a few days later, Vagabonde emailed me to say that she had been inspired to create her own special sandwich with the wonderful heirloom tomatoes that are available just now. 

I've tried it (twice now) and can say that Vagabonde's creation is a winner.
It's nothing more than pimento cheese on toasted bread (Vagabonde used whole wheat; I used a ciabatta,) some mayo,, slices of a really good tomato (these are red and green zebra tomatoes -- the green are ripe, believe it or not,) and some fresh basil leaves for what Vagabonde calls "that certain je ne sais quoi..."

Don't omit the basil! Truly, it lifts a simple sandwich into the realm of cuisine. 

Vagabonde used a gourmet four-cheese pimento cheese from the deli. I make my own  --pimentos, grated sharp cheddar, mayo, minced onion, a splash of Worcestershire sauce, and a bit of Sriracha hot sauce.
Heavenly! A wonderful lunch or supper.

The Dragon in the Sea, on the other hand, wasn't at all my cup of tea. I loved Frank Herbert's Dune but was less fond of those that followed. This is one of Herbert's early efforts, from 1956, which was probably re-published to take advantage of Dune's continuing popularity.  

The book's about four guys in a tiny nuclear submarine at some time in the future. The world is at war and oil as the ultimate prize (sound familiar?)  There are only four guys and it looks like one is a traitor. . .

While it was interesting to see what an early Herbert novel was like, the novelty quickly palled and I did not finish. Way too much technical info for my taste -- what I'd characterize as a 'guy book.' I guess it just lacked that certain je ne sais quoi. . .

I did finish the sandwich, however.

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26 comments:

Ms. A said...

A sandwich isn't special without a good mater!

Desiree said...

I haven't had breakfast yet and I'm drooling at the sound of this yummy sandwich concoction! Better go and see what I can rummage up in my kitchen!

Martin said...

Your sandwich looks delicious. Interesting that the tomatoes are green, but ripe.

Pat in east TN said...

All of my favorite things made into one sandwich ... sounds like a winner and one I will try shortly.

Jean Baardsen said...

It's a wonder that your blog followers don't show up at your house to get fed....

Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

Ah, pimento cheese. You've touched this southern girls heart this morning Vicki. Nothing better than homemade pimento cheese unless you're talking really, really good tomatoes.

Vagabonde is right. Most definitely this has a little "je ne said quoi."
Sam

Brian Miller said...

nice...love me some pimento cheese...this sounds really good...eh, yeah i agree on that book as well....

Kath said...

Good grief, it's breakfast time and I'm drooling over the sight of your winning sandwich!

Mama-Bug said...

That sandwich looks so good; definitely have give it a try!

Carol@The Writers Porch said...

That sandwich looks good! I make my own Pimento Cheese too. Homemade can't be beat! XO

Louise said...

The sandwich looks wonderful, but I'll pass on the novel. Like you, Dune was the only novel of his that I could ever get into.

Evalinn said...

I love the color of those green tomates! I´ve never had any of those...they look great! :-)

Sally said...

Pimento cheese and tomato sandwich sounds like a great combination.

Fun to have a variety of choices during tomato season.

Don't forget the BLT!

NCmountainwoman said...

I will give it a try. But my first reaction is that pimento cheese and tomato together doesn't sound quite right. I love both of them, but never gave a thought of eating them together in a sandwich. Live and learn, I suppose.

Thérèse said...

It looks like a winner sandwich and I will write down your own filling recipe!
Won't try the book...

GrandmaK said...

Mouthwatering!!!! WOW!!! Cathy

jennyfreckles said...

This post has made me hungry - but I'm just off to bed! I tried your earlier tomato sandwich and it was yummy. Funny but I'd never thought to make one with just tomatoes before. I've always had cheese and tomato and then you don't get the full flavour of the tomatoes. This one with basil sounds good too.

Vicki Lane said...

BLTs are a huge favorite here -- they go without saying.

I can't emphasize strongly enough how crucial the fresh basil is -- really ties the whole thing together as the Dude (Leibowski) would say.

I'm thinking about doing this as a grilled sandwich . . .

Over on Facebook someone left a comment telling about a sandwich she had recently -- pimento cheese and fried green tomato. May have to try that also.

FOLKWAYS NOTEBOOK said...

Vicki -- Agree with you -- a good tomato sandwich needs fresh basil to take it to another level -- barbara

Marilyn said...

Your sandwich makes me hungry for summer!

Anonymous said...

I must make that pimento cheese! Is the pimento the stuff that comes in the glass jars? It's actually a pepper, right?

Deana the Queena

Vicki Lane said...

Yep, it's roasted red peppers. Cute little glass jars. My grandmother put pimentos in potato salad.

My husband said last night that he thinks it's the homemade mayo that makes the big difference. It's not that hard.

2 eggs
A pinch or more of cayenne pepper (to taste)
1 tsp. prepared mustard (I use Dijon)
Juice of one fresh lemon (about 4 Tbs.)
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
2 c. canola oil
Put all ingredients, except for 1 ¾ c. oil, into blender. Blend 5 seconds on low. Keep blender running and add remaining oil in a slow thin stream. Stop blender and stir mayo with rubber spatula, scraping the sides well. Blend again till good consistency.

Anonymous said...

I bet your husband's right! I must try this. Think I'll try this sandwich for Hell and High Water B.C. this week-end. We're reading "Let the Great World Spin." I just started it this morning and find it extremely well-written.

Deana the Queena

Merisi said...

I am getting hungry! :-)

(Love the weirdness of the vegetables in the previous post!)

Vagabonde said...

Thanks for telling me about your post. We are traveling right now and I have not been able to see a computer for a while. Your tomato sandwich photo looks wonderful - good enough for a top cooking magazine. I’ll try your bread next time, it sounds very tasty. I am pleased you liked my sandwich.

Brenda said...

Yum!!