Make this quintessential summer dish when ripe, fresh tomatoes and fragrant basil are abundant at farm stands (or in your garden). Seek out an artisanal sourdough to complement them. Be sure to assemble these as soon as the toast is ready. The hot bread releases the juices and tangy sweetness of the tomatoes.
Note: If my broiler is in use, I use my toaster oven instead. There are few things I like more than grilled bread, but it would be too overpowering here. You definitely want the subtlety of toasted bread.
- Cut the tomatoes in half from top to bottom, remove the cores, then cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices.
- Set an oven rack 4 inches from the broiler heat source. Preheat the broiler.
- Arrange the bread in a single layer on a broiler pan. Generously drizzle oil on both sides of the bread. Broil, turning once, until golden, about 2 minutes.
- Immediately arrange the tomato slices, overlapping slightly, on the toast. Season with salt and pepper and tear the basil leaves over the top. Drizzle with a little more oil and serve immediately.
Recipe by Jean-Georges Vongerichten