Summer Tomatoes: Tomato, Red Onion, and Pesto Open-Faced Sandwich

by valentina on August 8, 2012

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For as long as I can remember, my parents have abstained from eating tomatoes unless it’s summer.

“Oh, we’d never buy a tomato in the market,” my dad says, year after year.

“We wait for dad’s tomatoes — they’re the best,” my mom always adds.

My dad starts his summer tomato crop from seed — in little, tiny containers that sit on a tray on an antique stove until they’re ready for planting.  He transplants these beautiful baby plants to the ground, variety by variety — each with great care.

In my parents’ house, this Tomato, Red Onion and Pesto Open-Faced Sandwich is presented at the dinner table a few times a week every summer. My mom makes the pesto with their homegrown basil, while my dad picks the tomatoes.  (I love it! No wonder they’ve been married for 48 years! ;-) )

My proud “farmer” dad with his gorgeous tomatoes!

How could I grown up in this environment, and not love whole, organic, fresh foods?!

Stay tuned  for Summer Tomato Gazpacho, coming to you Friday!

Tomato, Red Onion, and Pesto Open-Faced Sandwich

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Yield: Serves 1 to 2


1 English muffin, sliced in half and toasted

2 tablespoons of your favorite pesto (my favorites: Spinach Kale Pesto and Lemon-Caper Pesto)

4 very thin slices red onion

4 slices of a large garden tomato, about 1/4-inch thick

Extra virgin olive oil

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

  1. Spread about 1 tablespoon of the pesto on each half of the toasted English muffin.
  2. Layer 2 slices of red onion and 2 slices of tomato on top of the pesto, on each one.
  3. Drizzle the top with a bit of extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with sea alt and freshly ground black pepper.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Adrienne August 8, 2012 at 3:21 pm

This recipe looks amazing! I’m going to try it tonight! I love that Jim and Carole have made pesto and grown tomatoes for so long! Love to all of you! And Happy Birthday (late) to you!


Colette @ JFF August 8, 2012 at 3:44 pm

All my fav things in a stack!


Ilke August 9, 2012 at 3:31 am

Look at that garden, how lush! I always have good intentions at the beginning of summer, only that I kill all my plants by the end of June. I am sure I am missing some gene or particular skill because I just realized my fresh mint is dead. The herb everyone says you can not kill it.
Enjoy your sandwich, it looks gorgeous. I will head to the farmer’s market to get bunch more tomatoes.


sippitysup August 10, 2012 at 1:09 am

A really tempting bite! I know you learned a lot of plant love from your dad too. GREG


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