Hey there tomato season. Welcome back. To celebrate the first heirloom tomatoes of the season, I’m serving up the most delicious open-faced tomato and goat cheese sandwich. It’s topped with bacon and a balsamic reduction for a delicious summer lunch or dinner!!
Seriously, when tomato season comes around, I’m in summer produce bliss. Admittedly, I use tomatoes year round and they don’t compare to in-season tomatoes. They are the best. It’s as simple as that. They are sweet, but not too sweet. And, they are so juicy and flavorful.
I was at the farmer’s market here in Chicago on Saturday. We have an amazing one in Lincoln Park: Green City Market. It’s one of my favorite weekend activities where I walk around with my pup and enjoy all of this wonderful local produce. Of course, I loaded up on so many tomatoes. In fact, for lunch today I’m just having caprese salad. I’ll go through a phase of eating it as my lunch for probably a good month or two. I’m such a creature of habit when it comes to summer tomatoes. Ha.
And, this open-faced tomato and goat cheese sandwich is my new favorite. Even though it has bread, the sandwich still feels light. I don’t know about you but in the summer…especially with the 100 degree days we’ve had the last week…I really don’t want “heavy” food. So, I reach for food like this. Except yesterday: all I had was some chips and some popcorn until about 6pm at night. I was adulting really hard yesterday.
Plus, this sandwich is super easy to make. In fact, you could bake up some bacon and make some balsamic reduction at the beginning of the week and you could easily make this sandwich throughout the week in less than 5 minutes. Just how I like it: easy and delicious. This recipe also has under 10 ingredients (including salt and pepper). That’s what is so great about summer. Recipes are so easy because the ingredients are fresh and full of flavor. You don’t need a lot of ingredients to have a damn delicious meal!
- 1 Loaf Sourdough Bread
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 3-4 Medium to Large Heirloom Tomatoes (or any in-season tomato will do)
- 8 Slices of Bacon
- 4 oz Goat Cheese, spreadable
- Maldon Salt
- Freshly Ground Pepper
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/8 cup honey
- Pre-heat the oven to 400º F. Set out the goat cheese to warm a bit, which makes it easier to spread.
- Line a rimmed half-sheet baking sheet with parchment paper. Then, place an oven-safe cooling rack on top of it. Place the bacon on the rack. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the bacon is crispy and golden.
- While the bacon is in the oven, make the balsamic reduction. Stir together the balsamic vinegar and honey in a small saucepan over high heat. Bring the reduction to a boil then reduce the heat to low. Let it simmer for about 10 minutes when the mixture is noticeably thicker (but not too thick). Set the balsamic reduction aside to cool.
- Place a grill pan on the stovetop at medium-high heat. Slice the sourdough bread about 3/4 inch-1 inch wide. Brush on olive oil on both sides. Place the bread on the grill pan for about 1-2 minutes (check it at 1 minute) until the bread is a little crispy and has grill marks. Flip and repeat.
- Slice the tomatoes. The slices are thicker. Spread the goat cheese onto the bread. Top with tomatoes. Break the bacon in half and add it to the top of the tomatoes. Spoon on a drizzle of the balsamic reduction. Sprinkle on Maldon Salt and freshly ground pepper. Enjoy!