You Should Be Getting Your Tomato Sandwiches Out Of A Mayo Rut

The appeal of a classic tomato sandwich is often centered around its simple ingredients and straightforward assembly process. However, if you are set on deviating from the original recipe, choosing a different spread than mayonnaise is one way to get this humble sandwich out of a rut. 

Using cream cheese to coat your toast instead of mayonnaise will provide a thicker, creamier element that won't overpower the flavor of your summer tomatoes. Similar to cream cheese — but higher in protein — cottage cheese is one great option for those looking for a nutritious boost. Both cheeses are mild in flavor; the primary difference is in the texture since cottage cheese is a mixture of cheese curds and cream. 

If you're interested in a dairy-free mayonnaise upgrade, plant-based spreads create one way to turn a tomato sandwich into a well-balanced meal. Plant-based options can also bring extra protein. For example, make a tofu spread by blending silken tofu with garlic or your favorite seasonings and-or fresh herbs. You can also mash white cannellini beans for another easy, highly-nutritious choice that is surprisingly tasty. 

Other ways to upgrade your tomato sandwich spread

While mayonnaise is the classic choice, using it as inspiration can lead to even better ways to elevate your tomato sandwich. For example, one creamy option to consider is a fermented dairy product called labneh. 

Labneh is a popular spread from the Middle East that's similar to Greek yogurt and kefir. It's made by straining yogurt, which removes most of the whey while keeping its signature sour tang. The result is, in essence, a super thick, spreadable, double-strained yogurt, which makes a perfect condiment for your tomato sandwich. The creaminess of the labneh creates a fantastic coating for toasted bread and prevents the tomato juices from making your sandwich too soggy. 

Hummus is another underrated, extremely versatile sandwich spread. It's made by blending chickpeas, tahini, and olive oil, but other flavors can be added, such as garlic or lemon. Hummus also lends your tomato sandwich a slightly nutty, savory flavor. No matter how you make this handheld summer staple, the seasoning matters: Topping it off with a sprinkle of salt enhances each ingredient and ties them together. The next time you've got the urge to make a simple tomato sandwich, consider opting out of the mayo and trying something new.