Summer marks a special time in my kitchen—suddenly there’s less handling of ingredients, and I can just cut a peach or cucumber and call it lunch. One such simple pleasure is the tomato sandwich. There aren’t many things I wait a full year to indulge in, but tomato sandwiches definitely fall into that category.
With only a few ingredients, this recipe just doesn’t work without the right tomatoes—the good ones—the juicy, jewel-like ones that only appear in July, August, and September. The true key to sandwich success is to sprinkle salt and coarsely ground pepper on each and every tomato slice (something I learned from watching my mama in summers past).
The bread on a tomato sandwich is usually just the delivery system for me—something that I can swipe a little mayo across, that will absorb some of the juices. But when I feel like going all out, this savory drop biscuit is the perfect sandwich canvas. It starts with lots of herbs—you can use any combination that you like or is growing in your garden—just remember to use enough. The herbs’ freshness is the foundation here. Rounded with a little saltiness from finely grated Parmesan and tanginess from buttermilk, these biscuits get golden and craggy on the outside, but stay soft and fluffy inside.
Slice a biscuit in half, spread with mayo, pile with tomatoes, and you have a perfect sandwich. And come summer, you’ll find me eating this for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. —Erin Jeanne McDowell
- Prep time 30 minutes
- Cook time 35 minutes
- Makes 6 sandwiches
- Herb Biscuits
(40 grams) fresh chives
(30 grams) fresh chopped dill
(30 grams) fresh chopped parsley
2 1/2 cups
(300 grams) all-purpose flour
fine sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
(4 ounces/113 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
(60 grams) finely grated Parmesan cheese
(170 grams) cold buttermilk
large (56 grams) egg
- Tomato Sandwiches
thick slices tomato
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Heat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Roughly tear the herb stalks, leaves, and stems and place into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the herbs are finely chopped. Scrape the bowl well, then add the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and pepper, and pulse until uniformly combined. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse meal—the butter should be in very small pieces throughout the flour. Add the Parmesan and pulse to combine.
- Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl and make a well in the center. Add the buttermilk and egg to the well. Use a small whisk or fork to break up the egg inside the well, then mix the batter until it’s uniformly hydrated and evenly combined.
- Scoop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets using a large scoop or two spoons, dividing the batter into 6 even mounds (about a heaping 3/4 cup each). Space them evenly apart, staggering as needed to allow room for spreading (at least 2 inches around each biscuit).
- Transfer the baking sheets to the oven and bake until the biscuits are lightly golden and spring back slightly when touched in the center, 30 to 35 minutes minutes. Cool completely.
- When you’re ready to serve, cut the biscuits in half horizontally and spread mayonnaise inside. Place 2 tomato slices on each biscuit bottom and season with salt and pepper. Close up and serve immediately.