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.
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- 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
- 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.)
- 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.
- Arrange the slices on the toast, letting them drape over the sides. Drizzle with the remaining 1 teaspoon oil; serve.