Move over, avocado toast. (But don’t leave me forever! I still love you.) The Brandywines and Cherokee Purples have arrived, and they’re taking over breakfast duty for a while.
Unlike my hot peppers and cucumbers—which I don’t think I could kill if I tried—the tomatoes have struggled this summer. They’ve suffered through miserably hot heat waves that make them wilt like tired toddlers in the middle of the day. They’ve survived weekends of neglect while I’ve been off enjoying summer travels. And the birds! If I don’t pick a tomato as soon as it thinks about maybe turning a little pink, I lose it to the vicious robins that peck it to death and leave it to bleed out on the vine. Current score: me, 9 tomatoes; birds, 6.
So, what do you do with the opposite of a bumper crop? With my pitiful harvest, I want to make sure to fully enjoy every tomato that I’ve kept it watered in the heat, rescued from the birds, and slowly ripened on the windowsill. A few weeks ago, about to leave town for a while and not wanting to sacrifice a flawless Cherokee Purple to the compost, I sliced it up and put it on some toast with a bit of whipped cream cheese, a sprinkle of fresh herbs from the garden, and a drizzle of olive oil. It is tomato breakfast heaven, and I’ve been reluctant to use my homegrown tomatoes for anything else since. Avocado toast, we’ll always be friends, but I might not see you again until tomato season is over.
Note: Choose the most perfectly ripe tomato you can find.
for 1 serving; can easily be doubled, tripled, etc
- 1 medium tomato
- 1 nice slice of good-quality whole-wheat or whole-grain bread
- 2-3 Tbsp. whipped cream cheese (this is important; the regular kind is too stiff to spread unless you wait an hour for it to come to room temperature.)
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- pinch of kosher salt
- a couple of leaves of fresh basil, thinly sliced
- a 2-inch sprig of fresh oregano, leaves stripped and finely chopped
- Cut two 1/3″ slices from the tomato and let them sit on a paper towel to soak up excess liquid while you prep everything else.
- Toast the bread. Spread evenly with the cream cheese and top with the tomato slices. Drizzle the olive oil over the tomatoes, then sprinkle with the salt and fresh herbs.
- If you are vehemently opposed to refrigerating the leftover tomato—or if you just want to eat more of it because it’s delicious—I highly recommend chopping it up with a small pinch of salt and enjoying it with cottage cheese.