Tomato & Avocado Sandwiches with Roasted Garlic Mayo & Balsamic Reduction

I have a problem with avocados. 

A problem, as in, I can’t get enough of them.  I eat at least three a week, and I might have gone through a little avocado withdrawal last week at the beach after not having one for four days.

They’re creamy and savory and have the ability to add that extra oomph to any dish. Your black beans and rice is good? Avocado makes it fantastic. Chickpea and quinoa salad is tasty? Avocado makes it ridiculous.

You can see where this is going.

Now this sandwich has a couple extra steps, because it’s fancy, but I promise it’s worth the extra time.  Think friends-over-for-lunch-time. Or make-someone's-day-time. Or treat-your-self-time.  You're worth it, trust me.

Even though I enjoy adding avocados to pretty much everything, one of my favorite ways to enjoy them is between two slices of bread.

I got this avocado sandwich idea about three years ago.  I was in a creative non-fiction class in college and one of my classmates was a reading a memoir piece about growing up in Hawaii. She described surfing all day with her dad and brothers and collapsing, ravenous, onto the beach, and then eating avocado sandwiches with mayo and garlic salt out the back of an old pick-up truck.

Something about that sounded immediately appealing to me. I created the sandwich for lunch the next day with some added tomato and have been eating it regularly ever since.

I’ve made this combination plenty of times on plain bread with garlic salt and nothing else, but recently I’ve been toying around with a few different variations. I think I have found my favorite one yet. 

Today we are going all out on the sandwich front. 

Buy a fresh loaf of your favorite bread.
Buy the prettiest tomatoes you can find. (Farmer’s market or the garden variety are best.)
Buy a perfectly ripe avocado. (Or wait for one to ripen to perfection.)

The first step in this process is to take a big bitter head of garlic and roast it into sweet buttery submission.  The garlic completely breaks down a becomes soft and fragrant. You crush the soft submissive garlic with a fork and mix it in with some mayonnaise. It's lovely. And I never use that word to describe mayonnaise because usually I hate the stuff, so you know this is serious. 

While the garlic is roasting, you whip up the super fancy sounding but super easy balsamic reduction. Basically you pour some balsamic vinegar into a small saucepan, keep it on a low boil for 15 minutes, and watch as it reduces and becomes more sauce-like. With majorly intensified flavor. Win!

Now it's time to assemble our fancy sandwich.  I get very picky about which-condiments-go-on-which-slice-of-bread-touching-which ingredients.  You can follow my rules or make your own. 

Spread some of that roasted garlic mayo on one slice of bread.

Lay a few slices of avocado overtop. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. 

On your other slice of bread, lay out the tomatoes, then drizzle with balsamic reduction. Devour.

This sandwich will be extremely messy. The avocado slices will slide out and the tomato juices will drip all over your fingers. However, you will be in such a sandwich-induced-euphoria that you won't even care. Trust me.

Tomato and Avocado Sandwiches with Roasted Garlic Mayo and Balsamic Reduction

1 large tomato
1 large ripe avocado
fresh sliced bread of your choice
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1 head of garlic
salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Remove most of the outer skins from the head of garlic, then use a sharp knife to remove the very tips of the cloves.

Place on a baking sheet, drizzle with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil, and then roast for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, add balsamic vinegar to a small saucepan on medium high heat. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium. Continue to maintain a low boil for 15 minutes, stirring frequently. The vinegar should reduce in volume by half and should resemble barbecue sauce in appearance and consistency.

When garlic is done, use a fork to spear each clove and remove from skins. Place onto a small plate and use a fork to mash cloves into paste. Add mayonnaise and mix well.

To assemble sandwich, spread garlic mayo on one slice of bread, then add avocado and tomato. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with balsamic reduction.


  1. great vegeterian sandwich that even meat-eaters would love...

    i regularly do a similar sandwich. i toast 2 cloves of garlic and slice them evenly onto my sandwich, about 1/3 to 1/2 an avocado sliced, a few slices of tomato, and maple turkey (i need a meat!). i also use melted cheese on each slice of bread to keep it together, and if i'm feeling unhealthy i pour ranch dressing all over and re-toast it all (messy!). if i have spinach around i'll put a bunch of raw spinach in there.

    1. Thanks!
      Um, your sandwich sounds fantastic! I will most definitely be trying that!

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