7.08.2011

Savannah Tomato Sandwiches


In past 16 years of catering parties and events, I can't tell you how many of these delectable sandwiches I've made; thousands of them? Not sure. But one thing for sure, they are delicious! Simple and so Southern, and they'll brighten up any gathering.


Using a biscuit cutter, about the same diameter as the tomatoes, cut bread rounds. You can use white, wheat, rye, or any types of bread you would like. I usually use white and wheat for color variations. These can be done a few weeks ahead. Put a plastic wrap between each layer to avoid bread rounds sticking, cover well and freeze. **Use the bread remnants for fresh bread crumbs, bread pudding, or my chickens love these as snacks!




A proper Southern lady would never get caught having tomato skin stuck to their teeth, so we are going to take a few extra minutes to take the skins off the tomatoes.


Bring water to a rolling boil in a large pot. Prepare a large bowl of ice water. Using a paring knife, score "x" on the smooth side of tomatoes. Gently drop the tomatoes in boiling water, be careful of splashing! Blanch tomatoes for 30 seconds or so until you see tomato skin begin to peel. Do not over blanch.

Immediately plunge tomatoes in ice water to stop from cooking. Do you see how the skins are cracked and ready for peeling? The skins should come right off or use the paring knife to peel.


Slice the tomatoes and let drain on several layers of paper towels. Cover and store in fridge until ready to assemble (can be prepped a day head).


Keep bread rounds frozen until ready to assemble. Do not thaw; it is much easier to handle the rounds when assembling. Use extra paper towels and dab extra tomato juice before assembling sandwiches. Plastic storage bag can be used as a piping bag to put sauce on quickly.

Tomato Sandwiches can be made up to three hours ahead. Cover well with plastic wrap so bread rounds won't dry out. So beautiful and delicious!


Savannah Tomato Sandwiches with Basil Aioli
Yields 16 Sandwiches

4 Medium size vine ripe tomatoes
16 Slices of white bread
16 Slices of wheat bread (or other bread slices of your choice)
1 cup Basil Aioli Sauce (see recipe below)

1. Using a biscuit cutter, about the same diameter as the tomatoes, cut bread rounds. Put plastic wrap between layers and store in freezer until ready to assemble.

2. Bring water to a rolling boil in a large pot. Prepare a large bowl of ice water, set it aside. Using a paring knife, score "x" on the smooth side of tomatoes. Gently put tomatoes in boiling water; be careful of splashing hot water! Blanch tomatoes for 30 seconds or so until you see tomato skin begin to peel. Do not over blanch.

3. Using a slotted spoon, take tomatoes out and immediately plunge tomatoes in ice water to stop from cooking. Peel the skin using a paring knife, if necessary.

4. Slice the tomatoes (one tomato yields about 4 nice, thick slices) and let drain on several layers of paper towels. Cover and store in fridge until ready to assemble (can be prepped a day head).

5. When ready to assemble, lay frozen bread rounds, spoon or pipe sauce on, pat excess juice out of tomato slices with paper towels before laying on top of sauce, then top it with second bread round. Finish assembling and cover well with plastic until serving time.




Basil Aioli Sauce:

3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream (or softened cream cheese)
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
1 teaspoon grated garlic
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/8 teaspoon salt, or more

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl, season well with salt. Set aside or refrigerate in a plastic storage bag until ready to assemble sandwiches.

Make Ahead Tips:

Up to two weeks prior: Cut bread rounds, cover well and freeze

Up to 3 days prior: Make Basil Aioli, store in zip lock bag, refrigerate

1 Day before: blanch tomatoes, peel skins, slice, cover well and store in refrigerator.

4 hours prior to event: begin assembling sandwiches, cover well with plastic wrap; can be stored in refrigerator or room temperature.

23 comments:

  1. i love, love, love tomato sandwiches in the summer. i can't wait to try the basil aioli with them. thanks for sharing, kay!

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  2. How beautiful! Thanks for sharing.

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  3. Love, love, love the basil mayo on there. This is a fantastic recipe Kay!!

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  4. and i must say from a first-hand taster, these little babies are DELISH!!!! by the way kay, my family loved the basil aioli... we put it on everything!!! thanks for sharing!

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  5. I'm sorry if this is a silly question, but what do you do with all the leftover bread? From the picture, it seems like a lot of waste :\

    They do look and sound wonderful. What a great trick with the tomato skins.

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  6. You had me at basil aioli!! Those sandwiches look so cute and yummy.

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  7. Yum Kay! These sound wonderful! I could see that Basil Aioli being a staple at our house!

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  8. Thank you my two favorite Susans,Brandi, Kristin, & Laurie!

    And @Amanda, I usually save those bread remnants for fresh bread crumbs, bread pudding, and my 28 chickens love them as snacks! :) Great question!

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  9. yum, these tomato sandwiches look so good! and i like how both people and your chickens benefit from this recipe :)

    hope you're having a great summer, Kay!

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  10. Beautiful idea for a shower or party! I'm bookmarking this for the future! You're right, a tomato sandwich is so southern! It always reminds me of my Grandmother. :) I like the tea version and great tips on how they can be made ahead of time!

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  11. These are darling! Love a cute little sandwich!

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  12. I always love your dishes, these are so pretty too

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  13. Wow, these are beautiful and they look delightful for an afternoon tea. I feel so Southern already!

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  14. wow, love those tomato sandwiches, i am on it this weekend, thank you for spending the time to post.

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  15. These look so cute! Like tomato macaroons!

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  16. With vine ripened tomatoes I can't imagine a better sandwich. Beautiful!

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  17. These really sound delicious. They certainly look beautiful. I've saved this recipe to use for the next shower I host here. They will be a huge hit. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

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  18. bookmarking this and will definitely try it!

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  19. Your food always looks so lovely...

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  20. Such cute and flavorful little sandwiches:) I love that they look like sandwich cookies(to me anyway)!

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  21. well aren't these the most dainty little sandwiches ever! peeling the tomatoes is the key--that skin stuck between one's teeth takes the dainty right out of the picture! :)

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