I didn’t have my first tomato sandwich until just a couple years ago. It was the simple, three-ingredient version: white bread, mayonnaise and juicy tomatoes seasoned with salt and pepper. Admittedly, my expectations weren’t too high—the sandwich sounded incomplete. But I was blown away by how much I liked it. The sweetness of height-of-season tomatoes coupled with my lifelong love of mayonnaise and white bread—sophisticated, I know—opened my eyes to the greatness of this simple, summertime sandwich. I couldn’t believe I’d gone so long before eating one!

Since then, I’ve had all kinds of riffs on the tomato sandwich, each version a bit different but always highlighting the fresh tomato flavor. Here, I stray slightly from the classic by including a couple ingredients for crunch, using the creaminess of avocado, and mixing in the anise-y flavor of tarragon for a super simple herb mayonnaise.

But no matter what your take is, here are a few pro tips to keep in mind:

Protect the bread: To prevent the tomatoes from sogging out the bread, use another ingredient, like greens or cucumber, as a barrier.

Make sure to season: Salt and pepper are your friends! Tomatoes get even more flavorful when seasoned correctly.

Add some crunch: As a general rule, including a variety of textures is as important as including a variety of flavors. Give your sandwich crunch with some cucumber or greens, such as romaine.

Height-of-Season Tomato Sandwich with Tarragon Mayonnaise

Makes 2 sandwiches

¼ cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon minced tarragon
4 slices white bread
Sliced cucumber
Greens of your choice (preferably something with a crunch, like romaine or iceberg)
Ripe tomato, cut into ½-inch slices
Avocado, sliced thin
Salt and pepper

In small bowl, mix together mayonnaise and tarragon. Slather mayo on one side each of all four bread slices. Layer some greens on top of two slices and top with tomato slices. Season with salt and pepper. Layer cucumber and avocado on top of tomato, season with salt and pepper, and then overturn remaining bread slices (with mayo and greens on them) over top. Gather some napkins and dig in!

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