Sweet and Sour Tomato Toast 6.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post; tableware from Crate and Barrel

Top Tomato 2014 Aug 20, 2014

The creator of this recipe says this is a dish for people who aren't quite comfortable in the kitchen, because it calls for common ingredients and no fancy cookware. Her motivation: "After eating about 1,000 tomato sandwiches, I knew I had to up my game," she says. Hence, her techniques: "MIUAYGA (Make It Up as You Go Along) and a dash of KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid)."


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 6 servings; makes 12 slices

  • 12 slices sourdough bread, preferably baguette style
  • 8 peeled, seeded and chopped ripe, red tomatoes
  • 1 lemon, cut in half and seeded
  • About 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, or more as needed
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon plus 1 pinch sea salt
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, chopped
  • 4 cups fresh spinach
  • 10 white button mushrooms, cleaned, stemmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar plus 12 small pinches
  • 16 grape tomatoes, each cut into thin rounds
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • About 2 teaspoons dried oregano


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Arrange the bread slices on the baking sheet in a single layer. Toast for 10 minutes, just until crisped on top but not necessarily browned.

Combine the chopped tomatoes, a good squeeze of juice from 1 lemon half, 1 tablespoon of the oil, 1 1/2 teaspoons of the sugar, the garlic salt and 1 teaspoon of the sea salt in a food processor or blender. Pulse to a chunky puree; transfer to a bowl.

Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons of the oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Once the oil shimmers, stir in the garlic to coat evenly. Cook for about 1 minute, stirring, then add to the tomato puree in the bowl.

Add 2 tablespoons of the oil to the saute pan and swirl to coat (medium heat). Add the spinach, 2 good squeezes from the remaining lemon half and a pinch of the sea salt; toss to coat as the spinach wilts in the pan. Transfer to a separate bowl.

Add the mushrooms to the pan (medium heat). Moisten with a good squeeze from the first lemon half; if the pan seems dry, add the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons of oil. Cook, stirring to coat, for a few minutes or just until the mushrooms turn golden. Transfer to a plate.

Pour the chunky tomato puree into the saute pan. Cook (over medium heat) for about 3 minutes, stirring, until heated through and fragrant. Remove from the heat.

Spread tomato puree on each slice of bread (use it all), then sprinkle each one with a small pinch of sugar.

Arrange a layer of the grape tomato slices on each slice, reserving a few tomato slices for garnish. Use most of the cheese to sprinkle over each portion; create two more layers using the spinach and mushrooms. Garnish with the reserved grape tomato slices and another light sprinkling of cheese. Drizzle with a little oil and sprinkle a small pinch of oregano over each one. Bake for 15 minutes, until hot and fragrant.

Serve warm.

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Recipe Source

From Reena Beneze of Peoria, Ariz.

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

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