The folks from whom I buy my tomatoes at the Union Square Farmer’s Market say we’ve got about a week left until first frost — which means the end of good, fresh, local tomatoes. I bought a boatload on Wednesday and have been eating them for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Apart from eating them straight-up with a little Kosher salt and freshly-ground pepper, my second favorite is to make chicken salad sandwiches with thick slices of tomato — in this case an heirloom Brandywine tomato. The color on that is no Photoshop trick; it really was that deep, dark, crimson.
For my chicken salad, I basically use this recipe, though I add a heaping tablespoon of Dijon mustard to the dressing and generally use twice as much lemon juice (I think… I never actually measure it). (Obviously, if it looks like too much dressing for the amount of chicken, don’t use it all!) Dill is a good substitute if you don’t have tarragon handy — which I didn’t in this case — and I add a small handful of fresh, chopped parsley, because parsley makes everything better. Putting mayo on the bread may seem like overkill with what’s already in the chicken salad, but the fat acts as a shield and keeps the bread from getting soggy, which is a consideration when you’ve got tomatoes as ripe and juicy as these. Butter works too, of course. This can be one of the greatest sandwiches in the world, when the raw ingredients are this good.