Much as I love those immense, rib-sticking breakfasts featuring two or more mains and such sides as diced tomatoes with salted eggs or achara or even cucumbers in sweet vinegar, the idea of a simple, five-ingredient toastie appeals to me greatly on days when the weather is beautifully dark and stormy. It warms and fills the belly, its simple flavors most pleasing to the palate without need for any further embellishment. In fact, all you need is a good hot mug of milky coffee (or hot chocolate from scratch; ah, yes, hot chocolate from scratch…) or maybe a good, strong, sweet, and creamy mug of builders’ tea.
One toastie I particularly like – and you can most likely refer to it as a savory tartine if you’re feeling a bit posh – is a very simple one made with fresh tomatoes and mild Cheddar.
The key to making this dish successfully is to use the best ingredients possible: whole wheat or rye bread spread lightly with some salted butter, a dollop of Dijon mustard, ripe tomatoes, and roughly torn slices of mild Cheddar.
Pop all that into your toaster oven for four to five minutes – just enough to melt the cheese, toast the bread till crisp, and soften the tomatoes, caramelizing the sugars in them for a bit of sweetness.
The resulting toasties are deliciously sweet and savory all at the same time. I daresay you could swank these up: add some ham or bacon, swap the Dijon for a bit of pesto, use a different cheese. But, really: why fix what works beautifully?