Some Things Are Worth Waiting For
One of my favorite sandwiches is tomato and avocado. But each has to be perfectly ripe. A lovely lopsided tomato sat on my kitchen window sill. Each morning, the rising sun warmed the lovely red fruit, and each day it ripened a bit more. Meanwhile, across the kitchen, a Haas avocado sat, hard, dark and dimpled. Slowly, with each passing day, it began to soften. And today, each had arrived at that moment of great anticipation. Like an annual vacation or great sex, in which anticipation plays a major role, so, too, with my little sandwich.
Just thinking about it, day after day as I awaited the right moment, had my mouth watering. I'd gently feel the avocado to determine its degree of ripeness and sniff at the tomato as I turned its face to the sun. I waited patiently for each to reach perfection.
This exotic combination of flavors and textures calls for a bread worthy of its company. The freezer held two large center slices from a loaf of marble rye I had saved expressly for this purpose.
I lightly toasted the bread and spread half of the creamy avocado over one slice of toast. Then layered on slice after thin, juicy slice of the perfectly ripe tomato, seasoned generously with sea salt and freshly ground Szechuan pepper. I slathered the top slice of rye toast with mayonnaise. A soft moan escaped my lips as I sunk my teeth into that first succulent bite. Too long anticipated; too quickly gone.
It will probably be a long time before I have another sandwich with a perfectly ripe tomato married to the rich, opulent creaminess of a perfectly matured avocado. Such a fine treat. Tomatoes are going out of season and only a vine-ripened, picked-from-the garden specimen is fit for this ultimate taste treat. If you get the opportunity, try it! But don't rush it, be sure each component is perfectly ripe and be sure to use a hearty bread to hold your treasure.
'Till next time . . . keep on cooking.