Summer Savory Delights: A Guide to Enjoying Tomato Season with Trace Barnett!

Are you enjoying tomato season? Elevate your next tomato sandwich with this quick yet sophisticated tomato sandwich recipe.


Here’s a guide on how to make the most of tomato season, whether you are harvesting from your own garden or choosing from a market, enjoy these delicious fruits in a classic southern fashion! 

Harvesting your own or choosing at the market:

  • Ripeness: Harvest tomatoes when they are fully ripe and have reached their desired color. Different tomato varieties have different colors when ripe, so refer to seed packets or plant labels for guidance.
  • Firmness and color: Gently squeeze the tomato to check for a slight give, indicating ripeness. Additionally, observe the tomato’s color, which should be vibrant and even.
  • Harvesting technique: Grasp the tomato firmly and twist it until it separates from the vine. Alternatively, use a pair of garden shears or scissors to cut the stem above the fruit.


  • Fresh consumption: Enjoy your homegrown tomatoes fresh, sliced in salads, sandwiches, or simply seasoned with salt and pepper. The flavors of homegrown tomatoes are often unmatched.
  • Cooking and preserving: Tomatoes are versatile for cooking. Use them in sauces, soups, salsas, or oven-roasted dishes. They can also be preserved by canning, freezing, or drying for later use in sauces, stews, or homemade tomato paste.

“Growing your own tomato plants allows you to experience the satisfaction of cultivating and enjoying delicious, freshly harvested tomatoes. With proper care, you can enjoy a bountiful harvest and utilize the fruits in various culinary creations. Happy gardening and tomato harvesting!”

–Trace Barnett


Vine Ripe Tomatoes, sliced and peels removed (optional)
Sliced Butter Sandwich Bread
Chopped thyme
Salt and pepper


1. Slice tomatoes using a serrated knife and remove the peeling if desired.
2. Remove crusts from bread slices.
3. Slather each bread slice with an ample serving of mayonnaise.
4. Place tomato on bread slice. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Top with other slice of bread.
5. Use a knife to smear a small amount of mayonnaise around the outside of sandwich. Dip the edges into chopped thyme to coat. Serve immediately or chilled.

Tips: Use tomatoes that are heirloom for more flavor. 
Salt them beforehand in a colander to reduce water content.
Don’t use tomatoes that are over or underripe for adverse flavor.

Follow along with Trace in this video while you make your sandwich!


Today we’re talking about tomatoes.

I’m gonna give you three tips on when to harvest your tomatoes. The first being color.

You wanna pick a tomato that’s vibrant, red and glossy, release easily off the vine. Don’t tug on it too hard.

Firmness, you don’t want it to be too firm or too squishy. Just a little bit of give.

Let’s make the perfect tomato sandwich.

First let’s start by coring our tomato.

And the key to slicing tomatoes and also coring them is the right knife.

Most people think that you need like an extra sharp, sharp, sharp, chopping knife, but you actually need a serrated knife.

And the finer the the better, because what the serrated knife does is it cuts directly through the flesh without smushing it.

No one wants a smushed tomato on their tomato sandwich.

Slather our traditional white bread. It can’t be on any other bread other than white. I mean, that’s just blasphemy.

So, let’s put mayonnaise on both sides of the bread, because a lack of mayonnaise on your tomato sandwich is just not southern at all.

And then let’s layer our tomatoes directly on there.

I don’t think you can ever have too many tomatoes on a tomato sandwich.

I love a good fresh herb on my tomato sandwich. So I’m gonna give a sprinkle of a little fresh thyme.

I’ve removed the crust on our bread, because if you’re gonna elevate your tomato sandwich, say if you’re hosting a party or using it as an appetizer, what I like to do is take just a tiny bit of mayonnaise.

And I’m gonna run that just along the sides here of our sandwich.

And what I’m gonna do is I’m gonna press that directly into this chopped thyme that I have here.
And look how beautiful that tomato sandwich is.

That is summer in a bite. Hmm, happy growing and eating.