A cheese and tomato toastie is a classic go-to for that quick lunch. A handful of simple ingredients is all it takes, cheese, tomatoes and bread. Recently I learned a little tip for the perfect toasted sandwich. Most often the bread is buttered on the outside for a golden crust. Try mayonnaise or salad cream instead next time. It creates an extra flavour on the crust, taking away the greasiness of butter. I prefer the vinegary zing of salad cream myself as it goes incredibly well with the tomato.
The tomatoes are in full growth at the moment in our poly tunnel. We have to make the most of these fresh jewels. So this year I have been pickling them to help them last longer. It is a very simple process. Well worth a try.
A bunch of vine tomatoes
Vintage cheddar cheese
For the pickle
100ml malt vinegar
100ml red wine vinegar
100ml Shaoxing rice wine vinegar
3 tbsp brown sugar
Pinch of Maldon sea salt
Add the vinegars, sugar and salt to a bowl. Chop up the tomatoes into bitesize pieces. Add these to the pickling juice. Stir to make sure every tomato is coated in the pickle. Cover and set aside for an hour. Overnight is better. Spread salad cream on the bread. Don’t soak the bread in it or it won’t crust well. Heat up a dry non-stick frying pan. Place the slice of bread salad cream side down in the hot pan. Spoon some drained pickled tomatoes on top of the bread. Top with some grated cheese. As the bread toasts put the pan under the grill for a moment to melt the cheese. Once melted place the other slice of bread on top, salad cream side up, and flip it. Use a spatula to see when it’s golden brown. Accompanying the sandwich with a bag of cheese and onion King crisps is optional.
Note: The left over pickled juice can be used to make your own ketchup. Add it to a handful of roasted tomatoes and blitz it in a blender. Pour into a pot and reduce the sauce until it thickens. Adjust the flavour to your liking with sugar and tomato puree.