Friday, August 21, 2015

Tomato and ricotta summer sandwich

Layer the ripest, juiciest tomatoes on fresh, hearty bread with ricotta cheese and avocado for the perfect summer sandwich.

fresh tomato and ricotta summer sandwich with avocado

I know you're back in school, kids -- well, some of you. The ones that live near me here in the South anyway.

And I know apple-picking has begun in Vermont.

And I know that we're dangerously close to the beginning of OMG-EVERYTHING-PUMPKIN-FEST 2015, but I'm still celebrating summer. ( #stillsummer )

Summer veggies, anyway.

Despite the fact that the squirrels ate every single tomato from my plants as soon as they appeared, let alone waiting until they turned even a tinge of orange, I've been noshing on ripe, juicy tomatoes as often as I can -- especially in tomato sandwiches -- thanks to the many apparently squirrel-less local Kentucky farmers.

For about two years now I've been carrying around a page torn from a back issue of House Beautiful magazine, of all publications, that featured an open-faced avocado sandwich from Gabrielle Hamilton's NYC restaurant Prune.

It caught my eye because it featured tomatoes, avocado and ricotta cheese -- probably three of my most favorite ingredients. Evah.

But I never wound up making it because it was a little too fancy schmancy for me. I don't keep preserved lemon peel, pearl onions and poppy seeds on hand -- and the preserved lemon peel was said to be the star ingredients. (Note: I first typed that as "poopy seeds" which I think is an infinitely better and funnier name and would certainly make them the star ingredient. Well, at least the most interesting ingredient.)

Whatevs. Ninj ain't got that kinda time at lunch, dig?

fresh tomato and ricotta summer sandwich with avocado

But this week I picked up a loaf of crusty-on-the-outside, chewy-on-the-inside ciabatta bread and a pint of gorgeous, colorful local cherry and grape tomatoes: purple, red, orange and yellow. Plus I just so happened to have half a container of ricotta cheese in my fridge.

The time was right to make a down-to-earth version of Gabrielle's sandwich.

Slather some ricotta on the bread, top with thin slices of ripe avocado, sprinkle on thinly sliced tomatoes and a little diced shallot, garnish with a dash of coarse sea salt and fresh cracked pepper and then drizzle the lot with some good extra virgin olive oil.


The. Best. Summer. Sandwich. EVAH.

I do not lie. Sometimes simple truly is best.

Given that you probably already have all the ingredients at your fingertips, are you ready for the best sandwich evah? Leave a comment: The Ninj wants to know.

fresh tomato and ricotta summer sandwich with avocado

Tomato and Ricotta Summer Sandwich

(Inspired by a Gabrielle Hamilton recipe in House Beautiful)

4 large slices hearty fresh bread (I used ciabatta)
1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1 ripe avocado, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups colorful fresh small tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 small shallot, diced
Kosher salt and pepper
Olive oil

Spread 2 tablespoons ricotta on each slice of bread. Top with avocado slices. Divide the tomatoes evenly among the four slices, then sprinkle with the diced shallot. Season with salt and pepper, then drizzle each slice with olive oil. Serves 2 (adjust accordingly to feed more).
-- print recipe --


  1. What a perfect way to eat fresh summer tomatoes! I need one of these sandwiches ASAP. :)