The is a recipe for those times when you find the world’s best-looking tomato and you’re so excited to eat it, you don’t even have the patience to close your sandwich before taking a bite. It celebrates heavy-handed mayonnaise application, yolky dregs, and flaky salt.
A note on choosing an oil for your mayo: Neutral is my go-to because it never overpowers the herbs or tomatoes, but feel free to substitute in your favorite olive oil if you want to amp up the flavor even more.
If your emulsion breaks while preparing your herb mayo, stay cool! Grab another egg yolk and put it in a clean bowl, and beat it together with another teaspoon of lemon juice, and another teaspoon of room-temp water. Drop by drop, add your broken emulsion as you whisk. Once it comes together, continue to whisk as you stream in the rest of the broken emulsion.
You’ll have more herb mayo than you need for just one sandwich, which roughly translates to “a very compelling reason to buy another tomato tomorrow.” Maybe even go crazy—buy two. —Ella Quittner
loosely packed basil and chives, very finely chopped (I like to blitz mine in a food processor, for ease); plus more for sprinkling
slices rustic, crusty bread
large ripe tomato (I like beefsteak), sliced roughly 1/2-inch thick
pinch each flaky salt and freshly ground pepper
olive oil for drizzling
In This Recipe
Set a pot of water over high heat. Once it reaches a rolling boil, gently add two eggs. Let them boil for six minutes exactly. Meanwhile, fill a bowl with ice and a large splash of cold water, and place it nearby. After six minutes, transfer the eggs to this ice bath.
Make the herb mayonnaise. In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolk, white vinegar, lemon juice, Dijon, kosher salt, and water. While whisking like your life depends on it, begin to dribble in the oil a few drops at a time, checking that it’s fully distributed before adding more. Go slowly! Once you’ve added about a third of the oil this way, you’ll have the beginnings of a thick, creamy mayonnaise. Stream in the rest of the oil steadily, continuing to whisk frantically as you go. Once you’ve added all of the oil, fold in the herbs. Set aside as you prepare the other elements. (Note: Mayonnaise can be made a few days in advance and kept in the refrigerator—wait to chop and add the herbs until you’re ready to serve.)
Toast the bread slices however you like (I prefer to do it in the stove at 450° F for 4 minutes). While the bread is toasting, peel the soft-boiled eggs in the ice bath.
To compile your sandwich, slather one side of each piece of toast with herb mayo. Layer tomato slices on top, and drizzle with olive oil and a pinch each of flaky salt and pepper. Slice the soft-boiled eggs lengthwise and immediately layer on top of the tomatoes, so you don’t lose any yolky dregs! Garnish with a sprinkling of herbs, serve open-faced, and eat immediately.