Estela’s Tomato Toast

Tomato Toast Sandwich on white plate.
For Estela chef Ignacio Mattos, the best tomato sandwich is open-faced and pairs ripe summer tomatoes with rich, creamy Fromager d’Affinois cheese instead of the usual mayo.Marcus Nilsson

Ignacio Mattos, the chef at New York City’s celebrated Estela, likes to use milky, buttery Fromager d'Affinois for this open-faced tomato sandwich, but Brie or any triple-cream French cheese would also be delicious here. The flaky sea salt can be swapped out for gray salt.

Adapted from Estela by Ignacio Mattos (Artisan Books) © 2018.

Equipment

Estela’s Tomato Sandwich
Ignacio Mattos, the chef at New York City’s celebrated Estela, likes to use milky, buttery Fromager d'Affinois for this open-faced tomato sandwich, but Brie or any triple-cream French cheese would also be delicious here.
Yield: serves 1
Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 (scant ¼-inch-thick) slice pumpernickel or other dense, seeded bread, crusts removed
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 Tbsp. Fromager d’Affinois, Brie, or triple-cream French cheese, softened (with or without rind, as desired)
  • 1 firm-ripe heirloom tomato, sliced into ⅛-inch-thick rounds
  • Flaky sea salt

Instructions

  1. In a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, add 1 teaspoon of the oil. Add the bread and toast, pressing down with the back of a spatula so it cooks evenly, until well charred and deep brown on both sides, about 5 minutes total. (It’s okay to have a few blackened bits; if the edges are burnt, just slice them off.)
  2. Rub one side of the toast lightly with the garlic, then spread the cheese on top in a light, even layer. Season the tomato slices with 2 pinches of flaky salt.
  3. Arrange the slices on the toast, letting them drape over the sides. Drizzle with the remaining 1 teaspoon oil; serve.