Cheese, tomato and salad cream sandwiches – an easy, practical lunch that is satisfying and tasty. Full of flavour, this is a traditional sandwich with a twist.
Cheese and tomato salad cream sandwich
Cheese, tomato and salad cream sandwiches – it’s a classic combination that goes all the way back to … well, Listen with Mother, at the very least, and probably a lot further than that.
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What is so good about this combination of flavours? In a way, I suppose it’s a variation on the theme of the ploughman’s lunch, in a more convenient form.
You’ve got the good, wholesome, flavour-filled granary bread. The salty, savoury cheese. The ripe, delicious tomatoes, sweet and acidic at the same time. And instead of a sweet and sharp pickle, the creamy and sharp combination that you find in salad cream.
In short, you’ve got all the flavours you hope to find in a savoury snack, and a decent balance of protein, carbohydrate and a salad vegetable in there too, which means you won’t feel hungry by mid afternoon.
The best cheese and tomato salad cream sandwich
There are practical issues to address when making a really good sandwich and this one is no exception.
Salad cream and sliced tomatoes are both fairly wet ingredients, of course. I know opinions vary on soggy tomato sandwiches. Some love to taste the juices soaking into the bread while others hate it. Certainly, no one wants a sandwich that is actually soggy and therefore hard to eat.
My solution to this is to use lightly toasted bread. It gives a bit of crunch and makes the bread more robust, able to soak in some of that juice without becoming unmanageable.
With the cheese in the middle to keep the salad cream and the tomatoes apart, this sandwich has elements that are creamy and juicy, but it is definitely not soggy.
Tradition with a twist
I have described this as a traditional sandwich, as British as roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, but you may be looking at the photos thinking, ‘hang on a minute…’ Yes, there’s an interloper in my sandwich! That really is basil.
It may not be traditional, but I love basil and it is just so good with cheese and tomatoes. My surprise discovery of the week is how well it goes with salad cream too. So I have thrown caution to the wind. After all, it’s good to have some greenery in there.
Maybe this sandwich is not just a riff on a ploughman’s lunch but on the Italian tricolore salad too?
Why make cheese, tomato and salad cream sandwiches
- It’s very easy
- Deliciously old-school
- A balanced lunch on the go
Cheese, tomato and salad cream sandwich ingredients
- Bread – I like a light granary bread, with or without seeds. This sandwich needs something more interesting than bland sliced white bread, but equally nothing too dense and worthy.
- Cheese – Use your favourite hard cheese. Good old-fashioned cheddar is my first choice, but creamier red Leicester works well too.
- Tomatoes – I use baby plum or cherry for plenty of flavour, but you can use good, ripe slicing tomatoes too.
Refrigerating tomatoes can rob them of all their flavour, so keep them at room temperature. If you must chill them, take them out and put them on a windowsill for a bit before making your sandwich.
- Salad cream – Homemade or from the supermarket as you prefer.
- Butter – Not strictly necessary, perhaps, but I do like it!
- Basil (optional) – This optional extra may be a little left-field but it compliments both the salad cream and the tomato nicely. Try it!
How to make cheese, tomato and salad cream sandwiches – step by step
Before you start, read my step-by-step instructions, with photos, hints and tips so you can make this perfectly every time.
Scroll down for the recipe card with quantities and more tips at the bottom of the page.
Step One – Lightly toast the bread and let it cool. Then butter one slice and spread the other with salad cream.
Step Two – Layer up the sandwich with the cheese on top of the salad cream and the tomato and basil on top of the cheese. Season with a little salt and pepper before putting the second slice of toast on top.
The toast makes this sandwich robust enough to last all morning if you want to wrap it and take it to work.
Alternatively, enjoy it with a half of cider and a packet of crisps for a leisurely weekend lunch.
- Use sandwich spread instead of salad cream.
- Add some crisps for a bit of crunch!
- Make it vegan – yes, really! Not only can you now buy vegan cheeses, but Heinz and some of the supermarkets have vegan versions of salad cream.
Even the best of sandwiches will go soggy or worse if you leave them hanging around too long, but if you wrap your cheese, tomato and salad cream sandwich in foil, it will last the morning in your desk drawer.
Hints and tips
- Chilling kills the flavour in tomatoes. If you are going to chill them, at least take them out of the fridge and put them on a sunny windowsill to revive them before you make your sandwich.
- Likewise, hard cheese benefits from being taken out of the fridge for a bit before serving.
More related recipes
- How to make a ploughman’s lunch – putting together a modern classic
- Easy ham and cheese toastie on brioche – the most indulgent croque monsieur you’ll ever eat
- Packed lunch noodle salad – brighten up the working day with this cheerful, stylish lunch
Cheese and Tomato Salad Cream Sandwich
- 4 slices bread (lightly toasted and cooled)
- 1 tsp butter
- 1 tbsp salad cream
- 40 g cheddar (or other hard cheese such as red leicester)
- 40 g cherry or mini plum tomatoes (a handful, cut in halves)
- a few leaves of fresh basil
- salt and pepper (to season)
- Lightly toast the bread and let it cool. Then butter one slice and spread the other with salad cream.4 slices bread, 1 tsp butter, 1 tbsp salad cream
- Layer up the sandwich with the cheese on top of the salad cream and the tomato and basil on top of the cheese.40 g cheddar, 40 g cherry or mini plum tomatoes, a few leaves of fresh basil
- Season with a little salt and pepper before putting the second slice of toast on top.salt and pepper
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