Tomato Tartines for Breakfast

We live in a late-19th century home on a slight ridge near a river and a wetland. We have lots of trees on our little hill. As a result, our property is also home to rabbits, squirrels and chipmunks. We've had frequent deer, bear, muskrat, turkey, porcupine, raccoon and fox sightings as well, and yet we live less than a mile from downtown. Most of the time, I love this crazy neighborhood with its mix of very old and newer homes, and think of my yard with its motley crew of critters as the peaceable kingdom.

But I'm pretty sure it's those sneaky squirrels who are enjoying my garden this summer. They have an odd ritual: Eat half the tomato, squash or other vegetable and then leave the rest on the deck or porch steps. They do this all the time. I know they like to position themselves on a hard surface when they eat, and I don't blame them. It's a lot easier that way. But I swear, sometimes they just do this to get to me. It's sort of a "Nah nah nah nah nah, I'm eating your harvest!" Or maybe it's some weird kind of offering, a sign of affection. I'm not really sure.

It is discouraging, but fortunately, I have ample access to tomatoes at area farm stands and farm markets, and the local Italian market makes a great effort to offer local and regional produce. And when tomatoes are in season, I have them for breakfast.

Tomato tartines! Breakfast doesn't get any easier or tastier. Here's my technique:
  • Toast two pieces of Udi's Gluten-Free Whole Grain Bread and then slather them with Smart Balance; you can add a bit of cream cheese, too, and sprinkle on minced onions. Or dill.
  • Cut two thick slices of tomato and place atop the bread. Spread with mayonnaise.
  • Then add Parmesan cheese, or, in the case above, cheese with garlic and sun-dried tomatoes. Zap in the microwave until the cheese melts.
I was in a hurry (it was, after all, Monday) or I'd have gone outside to pick some fresh basil. Bacon bits are a nice addition, too. In the past, I have topped the tartines with salmon and capers, too, or black olives. 

How do you make tomato sandwiches? True sandwiches or open faced tartines? Here's an open-faced version that sounds good. Or, try a more classic sandwich approach.

Here are some ideas from other tomato lovers. But I want to hear from you!

(Thanks to Christine and Kalyn for whetting my appetite.)


Christine said…
These are quite beautiful, Mimi. As you know, I use Udi's gf breads also. My favorite tomato sandwich includes mayo, basil leaf, avocado, and bacon. Oh, and I toast the bread. It just doesn't get much better.
Unknown said…
Avocado is something I am trying to eat more of, Christine. I'll try your approach and post pix on FB.

I had other tartine pix in my files, but I have misplaced them...
Anonymous said…
Your description of the animals and nah nah nah nah nah made me snicker. I live in an area where the bears don't always sneak. They'll sit in your cherry tree, garden, chicken house bold as brass and dare you come get them while they munch. But they, too, are weird about only eating parts of stuff.
I was reading your description of the tartine and I immediately heard my other half's voice in my head-- Smart Balance? Pff. We use butter in France. I asked him. He confirmed it.

Don't know if you have cherry tomatoes but I like them like this--
Like the recipe promises, they don't last long. If they can actually leave the kitchen, that is.
Unknown said…
Yesteryum, when I'm in France I use butter, too!

I love the sweetness of grape and cherry tomatoes. I eat 'em straight.

Bears in the trees? Yikes!

Thank you for posting.
amlamonte said…
nothing like beautiful tomatoes this time of year. that's funny about the squirrels - i had a terrible time holding onto my strawberries this year, until i bought a fake snake and put it out there! now whatever was eating them (birds maybe?) leaves well enough alone.
Unknown said…
A fake snake is a great idea! My squirrels are so darned brazen.

Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment!
This looks easy and full of flavor. Will try this.
Unknown said…
Let me know if you like them and how you adapt them to your own preferences, Christine!
I'm in a constant battle of wills with the chipmunks who delight in my tomatoes. They eat half, and leave the other half on the ground. This year I reinforced the fence around the tomato cage with a finer-mesh covering, and so far, so good, more tomatoes to me than to the critters.
Unknown said…
Lydia, it may well be a chipmunk, not squirrels - I actually have a trail cam but husband has not installed it yet. I became intrigued when I learned you could mount these things in your back yard to see what's out there at night.
Kalyn Denny said…
Ah, Parmesan cheese. I could not quite figure out what you had on there.
Unknown said…
Kalyn, I use whatever cheese I have on hand - sometimes two different cheeses, even three. Or not.

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