My unhealthy obsession with mayonnaise is scoffed at 11 out of 12 months of the year. Only French bistros provide refuge during the other 11 offering my beloved condiment alongside fries without me asking. But in August, oh in August, something magical happens.
You see, August is also known as “heirloom season.” That wonderful month when oddly shaped and luxuriously colored tomatoes sprinkle the farmer’s market. The weird and wonderful are celebrating for their quirky coloring and juicy, seductive flavors. And it is during this time of year when my mayo gets the credit it deserves.
There is a beauty in simplicity. And it’s one that’s understood with five simple things:
Slightly toasted sourdough bread.
Flaky Sea Salt.
Fresh Basil, julienned, of course.
And last, but not least, mayonnaise.
You can’t scroll through Instagram without seeing it. Captions that scream “we have no other choice but to respect the amount of mayo [insert name here] put on her tomato toast.” or as the New York Times’ Sam Sifton insists “fight me. It’s delicious.”. My queen Ina Garten has a recipe (!!) for this on Food Network.
Since the season has begun, I find myself making the short pilgrimage to the Grand Army Plaza Farmers Market on Saturday mornings with only one mission – acquire heirlooms, fresh sourdough and snag a bunch of basil. My tote bag gives off the intoxicating herby smell as I walk back through the Boerum Hill neighborhood of Brooklyn. On one particularly depressing day, an heirloom, sadly, did not survive the journey. But when my sweet babies make it back, it’s to be devoured as a sandwich paired simply with a slathering of Trader Joe’s classic mayo, none of the light stuff here, thank you very much.
It’s a blissful heaven. Each bite sweet and savory, the large flecks of salt giving a bite to the creaminess of the mayo. Truly, my only struggle is having enough tomatoes to make it through the week, until my next trek, until finally the day comes, where the tomatoes go into hibernation and mayo waits in everyone else’s fridge until it’s the celebrated condiment next heirloom season.