Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Art of the Summer Sandwich

Summertime and easy living. Sure. But not for me. Summer is a busy time in the wedding biz, but it's intense and beautiful and I love sipping a white wine at the end of the day when the sun is still in the sky.

Finding time to cook and eat well poses it's challenges, and this week it's even harder. I am alone in the kitchen as everyone is off on holiday and my fiance is away for the summer.

So the fall back is sandwiches or a staple of cold premade plain pasta that I'll toss into something fun. Loving the high protein pastas from Barilla. I love pasta like most, but the high carbs give me the heebee jeebees. More on pasta salads and such later- I digress.

So ok, Sandwiches are not exactly a huge deal culinarily. But it's more about taking some of this and that and making a lunch better than just meat on bread. I truly believe this is in response to the D(uh)ry sandwiches my mother put into my lunch box when I was a kid (that is when she in fact did such things). Two slices of Arnold Farm White (for those who don't know, a dense white bread- nothing, I mean NOTHING, like the fluffy bread my pals were eating), upon this bread a thin layer of mayo or butter and then a flat piece of ham, maybe two. Bleh.

Once when I was in about 4th grade I asked my mother to make me tomato sandwiches. Oh how I love toasted thick bread with a serious slab of mayo and then thick juicy ripe red tomatoes with salt. The next day was a soggy, gooey mess of a lunch that had leaked all over my vanilla wafer cookies (ugh, even dessert was bland and d(uh)ry).

 In order to execute this properly, the next day I had her put the different ingredients in my lunch box separately, each wrapped in it's own plastic cocoon,  and I composed it on the spot. It was heaven.... but the point is an 8 year old had to guide mom on how to make a meaningful  sandwich- and trust me, I knew the difference.

So now, when I make a sandwich it must have balance and grace or it sends me into shudders.

Ripening tomatoes on my counter got tossed into left over lemony salad dressing with thin slices of red onion and put in the fridge to marinate for a day.

Then a layer of chevre was spread on the grilled chiabata bread before the tomatoes.  Thin layers of proscuitto were fluffed and draped and the whole thing topped with fresh baby arugula.

The whole thing is a wonderful creamy, crunchy, spicey, salty, vinegary delight.

Ok, I was wrong- a well put together sandwich IS a culinarily important thing.

Enjoy my doves!

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