5 Ingredients or Fewer

Estela's Tomato Toast

July  9, 2021
7 Ratings
Photo by Bobbi Lin
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 5 minutes
  • Serves 1; easily multiplied
Author Notes

Have your own nostalgia-perfect tomato sandwich today, and tomorrow. But on day three—do this instead. Chef Ignacio Mattos and the team at Estela restaurant in Manhattan have created something new—bolder, crispier, juicier, dare we say better. Adapted slightly from Estela (Artisan, 2018). —Genius Recipes

What You'll Need
  • 1 rectangular loaf pumpernickel or other dense, seeded bread (you’ll have plenty left over)
  • About 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Generous 2 tablespoons softened Fromager d’Affinois, Brie, or triple-cream French cheese (with or without rind, as desired)
  • 1 firm but ripe heirloom tomato, sliced into ⅛-inch-thick rounds
  • Kosher salt
  • Gray salt
  1. Lay the loaf of bread on one end and slice off the bottom crust with a bread knife. Then slice a plank, about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick, off the bottom (this is what you’ll use for the toast). It’s easiest to do this by standing the loaf up on end and slicing down into it to start, then laying the loaf down once you’re an inch or so in, so the slice doesn’t break, and continuing to cut the bread. (Try to get it as even as possible, but don’t stress about it too much.) Cut off the crusts from this slice. Use any excess bread crusts as breadcrumbs, to thicken sauces, or as a snack. (Alternatively: just use a regular piece of bread.)
  2. Heat a large carbon-steel or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat and add about 1 teaspoon of the olive oil. Add the slice of bread and toast it on both sides, pressing down on the bread with the back of a spatula so it cooks evenly, until you have a good char and most of the surface of the bread is a nice deep brown, about 5 minutes total. (It’s okay to have a few blackened bits; if the edges are burnt, just slice them off.)
  3. Rub one side of the toast lightly with the garlic, then smear on the cheese in a light, even layer. Lay the sliced tomato on the cutting board and sprinkle with a pinch of kosher salt and then with a small pinch of gray salt for texture. Arrange the slices on the toast, letting them drape over the sides. Give it all a light drizzle of the remaining 1 teaspoon oil. Eat with a fork and knife.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Emma Laperruque
    Emma Laperruque
  • McKenna  Pautsch
    McKenna Pautsch
  • Luciana
Genius Recipes

Recipe by: Genius Recipes

3 Reviews

McKenna P. August 11, 2019
My new favorite!!! Simple to make and absolutely delicious. I made seconds for myself because I couldn’t stop eating it. I also made them for a cocktail party appetizer and it was the star of the show! Definitely make this, but make sure you use pumpernickel bread. I got mine at whole food pre-sliced.
Emma L. August 7, 2019
The double salt trick here is so Genius. Can’t wait to use it on all sorts of open-faced sandwiches!
Luciana August 9, 2019
Thanks for calling attention to that - makes so much sense! And I might have missed it otherwise. :)