That question about being stranded on an island and you can only take 3 things with you....it actually has a very easy answer. The answer is: toast, cheese and tomatoes. This is a combination based upon the primordial grilled cheese and tomato soup lunch on which our country was founded (in the early 1960s, in case you were wondering).
However, grilled cheese and tomato soup is such an excellent species that it has evolved into ever more delicious forms. Next time you are thinking about being stranded on a desert island, or feel like making something easy yet super-tasty for lunch, consider the following:
Grilled cheddar cheese sandwich with honey mustard and tomato
Make a regular grilled cheese sandwich with cheddar cheese on good farm style bread. But, add a slather of honey mustard on one of the bread slices and put some slices of good tomato on top of the cheese. Grill until crisp. Enjoy - this would have cost you $9.95 at Zingerman's.
Insalata caprese sandwich
Insalata caprese is a fancy restaurant way of saying tomato, basil and (fresh) mozzarella salad. This tastes fantastic on top of a piece of toasted bread. The most difficult part of this sandwich is gathering the ingredients. First job is to grow some tomatoes and basil. This sandwich is definitely best if you can go out and get your own from the garden. However, farmer's market produce can be substituted here. Then, get some fresh mozzarella - this is the soft ball of cheese that comes in a salt water bath, not the vacuum packed pizza cheese. Then, toast slices of a good french baguette. Layer on each toast a slice of the cheese, a slice of tomato. Then pause to add salt, pepper, and a few drops of olive oil. End with a flourish of basil chiffonade. This is best enjoyed with a glass of wine in the middle of a summer day.
Gruyere and tomato on toast
This combination was first shown to me by a friend from New Zealand where they apparently eat it with that smelly brown yeast paste called vegemite. Luckily, we don't have vegemite in the States, so you will probably not have to eat it. However, you should try this open face sandwich for breakfast, lunch or even dinner when your husband is out of town. Toast a piece of healthy whole wheat bread - the more grains, seeds and twigs in it the better. Add slices of gruyere cheese, then tomato slices. Salt and pepper. Enjoy, safe in the knowledge that you are in a vegemite-free zone.