Obviously, the season has a role in this, but lately I've found myself craving bread and fresh tomatoes.
When I was a kid, my go-to summer sandwich was whole-wheat bread smeared thickly with Miracle Whip and topped with hunks of extra-sharp cheddar cheese and a single, thick slab of tomato.
Now that I'm an adult and have a child of my own, I still crave the simple pleasure of bread and tomato. So I decided to create a grown-up version, rich with garlic and rosemary.
But the focus, as it should, remains on the bread and tomatoes.
TOASTED PARMESAN TOMATO BREAD
Yield: 4 servings
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 large sprig fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
Ground black pepper
4 slices sourdough bread
4 large tomatoes
3 ounces Parmesan cheese
Heat the oven to broil.
In a small, sturdy bowl, combine the garlic, rosemary, olive oil, salt and black pepper, to taste. Mix well, then use the back of a heavy spoon to mash the garlic and rosemary together to form a paste. This also can be done using a mortar and pestle, or a mini food processor. The rosemary won't mash well; this is fine.
Spread a quarter of the mixture over one side of each slice of bread.
Slice 2 thick slabs out of the center of each tomato. Reserve the tops and bottoms of the tomatoes for another use. Set 2 slabs over each piece of bread. Shave some of the Parmesan over the tomatoes on each slice. Set the assembled bread on a baking sheet and broil on the oven's middle rack until the cheese is just starting the brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Serve immediately.