Category: Sandwich

Spring Tartines

May 30, 2012

I’ve written a bit about Book Larder, the amazing cookbook store where I am lucky enough to work.  The shop opened in October and it has been gangbusters ever since.  I was hired with the idea that I would teach classes there and coordinate with other teachers around town to bring them in for classes as well.  As the months have passed, my job has morphed a bit and my official title is Culinary Director.

What does that mean exactly?  The easiest way to explain it is that I get to handle all things food related.  I teach classes and I also work as the assistant when we have other teachers or chefs in the kitchen.  If we have an author come to town for an appearance, I bake or cook from their books.  I do all the shopping for classes and events and any prep that needs to be done.  I love it.  LOVE IT.  Imagine cooking in a lovely kitchen surrounded by 3,000 beautiful cookbooks.  And then imagine getting to meet people like Christina Tosi, Alice Medrich, Paula Wolfert, Patricia Wells, Lynn Rosetto Kaspar.  Making their food from their books for them.  It is crazy-town cool.

A few months ago, we threw a party for Willi Galloway, an amazing gardener and cook.  She used to live in Seattle but now calls Portland home.  Her book, Grow Cook Eat, is a gorgeous example of how beautiful and delicious fresh garden produce can be.  I am about the furthest thing from a gardener, but the book makes me want to get out in the dirt.  (Except there are bugs there, right?)  We hosted a book release party for her and I was lucky enough to cater the event.  Willi chose four recipes from her book and I made enough food to feed an army.  Everything was so good, it was basically demolished by the end of the night.  I credit Willi’s recipes, not my cooking.

I loved everything I made but my favorite was the the Radish Tartines.  You mix a bit of butter with Gruyère cheese (one of my favorite cheeses), a healthy spoonful of mustard, chives, and diced radishes, spread that on a piece of hearty bread, then bake it in the oven until it puffs and browns.  Then you top that loveliness with the sautéed radish greens.  I love a recipe that uses all parts of a vegetable but I have to admit that, unless I am using über fresh farmers’ market radishes, I opt for mustard greens instead.  (I think any other “soft” green would work, including the extremely easy to find spinach.)

Side bar – what is a tartine?  Without looking anything up, this is my take.  Please be advised I could be totally wrong here.  I think of crostini as a thin slice of toasted bread with a topping.  I think of bruschetta as a thicker and heartier slice of bread, again – toasted, with a topping.  I think of a tartine as more of a open faced sandwich, the bread not toasted before the topping goes on.  A little easier to eat, no scraping the roof of your mouth.  Anyone else?

I’ve been making these beauties ever since that party and I love them more each time I eat them.  I made them for our last yoga retreat and they were at the top of the “Are you going to post this recipe on your blog?” list.

(Yes, this is the same photo as up above.  I only got one before they were snatched up!)
One Year Ago:  No-Knead Olive Bread
Two Years Ago:  Pull Apart Cheesy Onion Bread
Three Years Ago:  Individual Vegetable Tarts

Tartines with Gruyère and Greens

Adapted from Grow, Cook, Eat
Makes 6 large tartines

If you make them this way, they are kind of meal size.  Terrific with a bowl of pea soup or a hearty salad.  If you want more appetizer servings, use smaller slices of bread.  The topping can be made a day in advance and refrigerated, but definitely serve these just out of the oven.

2 cups grated Gruyere cheese (about 8 ounces)
3 tbsp. very soft unsalted butter
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
¼ cup finely chopped radishes
2 tbsp. fresh chives, chopped
Pinch of salt and few grinds of pepper
6 ½-inch thick slices good bread, such as pain de campagne
Olive oil
1 small bunch soft greens, such as mustard greens or spinach

Preheat the oven to 375F.  In a medium bowl, use a fork to really mash the butter.  Add in the cheese and mix well to combine the two.  Add the mustard, radishes, chives, and salt and pepper.  Divide the mixture between the bread slices, pressing down slightly.  Place the bread on a baking sheet and toast until the cheese puffs up and is lightly browned, 12 to 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, place a skillet over medium heat.  Drizzle in just enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan, then add the greens.  Cook, stirring frequently, until wilted, 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the green.  Spread the wilted greens on evenly over the cheesy toasts and serve immediately.

Tartines and a Bialetti Pan Giveaway

March 8, 2012

Up until the age of 20, one of my favorite things to eat in the world was a tuna fish sandwich.  That was my go-to lunch whether eating out or at home.  There was a deli in my college town that put an absurd amount of tuna salad on a large soft roll and I would talk friends with cars into taking me to get one.  At home, I mixed my albacore with plenty of celery, a little mayo, and a dollop of mustard.  I piled it high on rye bread and topped it with tomatoes, pickles, lettuce.  Then, four years after I stopped eating meat, I stopped eating fish.  I contemplated having a special disclaimer for tuna fish sandwiches but ultimately decided that tuna fish is still, you know, fish.  So I said goodbye to my beloved sandwich.

Since then, sandwiches and I have not really gotten along, especially when eating out.  My experience of vegetarian sandwiches in restaurants go a little something like this:

  • Dried out rye bread smeared with too much mayonnaise and topped with a slice of Swiss cheese that has started to go crusty around the edges, a not-quite-red tomato, and a hunk of iceberg lettuce.
  • Massive slices of oily greasy foccacia slathered with oily greasy sun-dried tomato hummus on one half and oily greasy tapenade on the other, topped with oily greasy roasted vegetables.
  • Very earnest whole wheat bread, smeared with cream cheese and topped with every vegetable under the sun including an entire garden’s worth of sprouts.


At home, it’s better.  Grilled cheese when dunked into amazing tomato soup is nice.  And I’m a total sucker for a tofu Bahn Mi.  But really, I prefer a wrap or a salad.  Or noodles.  Or really anything else.  I’m just not a sandwich gal.

This is not a sandwich.  It’s a tartine.  Verrrrrry different.  French.  Open faced.  One piece of really good bread.  Interesting and varied toppings.  Think crostini or bruschetta but bigger pieces of bread.  More like, um, a sandwich.  I like these very much.  They are terrific when you want to make something for lunch or dinner but don’t want to shop.  They are also terrific if you have a soup or salad that you are excited about and you just wanted something yummy to round out your meal.

Last week, I planned to make a salad that I was excited about and I had a new pan I was excited about and so tartines it was.  I made one with a labneh (kind of like a yogurt cheese), roasted tomato, and cilantro.  I made the other with a frittata made with shallots, cilantro pesto, harissa.  Except I was out of harissa so I used sambal oelek (a chile sauce).  Nothing super fancy but both were so much better than the sum of their parts.

So how about that pan?  One of the most common questions I get in classes is about what kind of pans I use.  I am lucky to have a decent arsenal of high quality stainless steel pans (All-Clad), a few Le Crueset pots, a beautiful copper double boiler (that is too pretty to use), and a few other assorted others. I rarely use use non-stick pans.  There are a few reasons for this.  It is nearly impossible to get a good brown on an onion (or a steak for that matter – not that I would know) with a non-stick pan.  Until recently, the coating on most non-stick pans would emit dangerous chemicals into your kitchen if left on high heat.  And really, I am just in the habit of using stainless or cast-iron for most things.

Except eggs.  And pancakes.  And grilled cheese sandwiches.  There is no substitute for non-stick in those situations, in my opinion.  I have a huge All-Clad non-stick pan that I use for very large frittatas but it isn’t the best for smaller quantities.  So when the Bialetti people offered to send me a new brightly colored perfectly sized pan, I jumped at the chance to say yes.

What can I say, this is a great little pan.  It is lightweight, has a handle that stays cool, a white bottom so you can easily see your food (why has no one else thought of this?), and is super SUPER non-stick.  I love it.  And I know you would too.  Want one?  Just tell me about your favorite pan in your kitchen and what you like to make with it.  I will randomly choose a winner on Tuesday, March 13th.  This contest closes at noon (PDT) on that day.  UPDATE:  This contest is now closed.  A winner has been chosen.

One Year Ago:  Sweet Potato Tian
Two Years Ago:  Tofu Cauliflower Kahri
Three Years Ago:  Goat Cheese Ravioli with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Tartine with Labneh, Slow Roasted Tomatoes, and Cilantro
Inspired by Dianna Henry’s Plenty
Serves 4

The labneh needs to sit overnight in the refrigerator overnight, so plan accordingly.  If you are going to go through the trouble of slow roasting tomatoes, you might as well do a larger batch.  Lay the leftovers in layers drizzled with olive oil in the refrigerator.

1½ cups 2% Greek yogurt
1 garlic clove, put through a press or very finely minced
Kosher or sea salt
8 plum tomatoes, cut in half and seeded
Olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup cilantro leaves, chopped
4 thick slices sourdough bread

Place the yogurt, garlic, and a pinch of salt into a bowl and stir well.  Line a sieve with cheese cloth and scrape the yogurt mixture into the sieve.  Place a bowl under the sieve and put the whole thing in the refrigerator overnight.

Preheat the oven to 300ºF.  Place the tomato halves on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.  Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper and roast until very soft and kind of shriveled, turning half way through the baking process, about 1 hour.  Set aside.

While the tomatoes are roasting, place the bread on another baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil and bake until just a tiny bit crispy on top, but still soft, about 10 minutes.  Set aside.

Smear a bit of the labneh on each slice of bread (you might have have some left over).  Lay down two tomato halves and scatter cilantro leaves over the top.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Tartine with Shallot Frittata and Cilantro Pesto
Dana Treat Original
Serves 4

1½ cup cilantro leaves
¼ cup coarsely chopped walnuts
Kosher or sea salt
1/3 cup olive oil
1 large shallot, finely diced
3 large eggs, beaten
4 thick slices sourdough bread
Harissa, or other hot sauce

Preheat oven to 325ºF.  Place the cilantro and walnuts in a food processor.  Sprinkle with a pinch of salt.  Process until a coarse paste forms.  Pour in the olive oil and pulse until you have a relative smooth pesto.  Set aside.

Place the bread on a baking sheet.  Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and bake until just a tiny bit crispy on top, but still soft, about 10 minutes.  Set aside.

Place a non-stick pan over medium-low heat.  Drizzle in a bit of olive oil and then add the shallots and a pinch of salt.  Sauté until very soft and starting to brown, about 4 minutes.  Pour in the eggs and swirl the pan around so that egg covers the surface of the pan.  Keep lifting the edges of the eggs up so the uncooked top layer can get a chance at the heat.  If you are very dextrous, you can flip the whole frittata over.  If not, just make sure the top of the frittata is cooked, then remove from the heat.

Slice the frittata into quarters.  Lay a quarter on each slice of bread and spoon a bit of the cilantro pesto over top.  Add just about a teaspoon of chile sauce to each tartine.



The $1 Olive

October 17, 2010

I recently had a very bad dining experience but fortunately something good came out of it.  A very close friend who is going through a rough patch needed a night out and she chose Dinette.  It is a restaurant that has been around for quite a while but it is a place that she had never tried.  Dinette is adorable and their focus is toasts.  They come in thick and chewy varieties and thin and crispy varieties.  Each type has about four different topping choices.  There are also some lovely salads and about five entrées on the menu.

The food we ate was very good.  There were plenty of interesting vegetarian choices.  The prices were very fair.  The vibe in the place was very sweet.  The service was, in a word, terrible.  I won’t go on and on about the multitude of ways our server was rude but I do have to tell you about the olive.

My friend ordered their martini and asked for extra olives which is something she always does and I would do too if I drank martinis.  The waitress snarkily told her that she would have to charge for extra olives because they were stuffed with blue cheese.  It was at that point, after several rude things had already happened, that I would have gotten up and walked out.  But my friend was fragile and getting back in the car in search of another place seemed like a bit much.  The waitress returned with the martini and, wait for it, two olives.  We checked the menu.  The cocktail description said the martini was served with Gorgonzola stuffed olives.  Plural.  How exactly is a total of two extra?

The evening went on.  She continued to be rude.  We did our best to ignore her and talk and enjoy our food.  When she brought the bill, I nearly fell out of my chair.  There was a $1 charge for the extra olive.  Now, I am a good tipper.  I start at 20% and will leave more for very good service.  I always tip on the full amount of the bill, regardless of whether I am using a coupon or some kind of discount.  I did not tip this woman.  I wrote on the back of the receipt (because she had disappeared) that by choosing to charge us $1 for one freaking olive, she had lost a $20 tip.  I came home, tweeted about it, put it up on Facebook, and am now telling you.  I sent the owner of the restaurant an email telling her not just about the olive, but about how rudely we were treated.  I never heard a word.  It is surprising to me, in this day and age not of “they told two friends and so on and so on” but “they told two friends who tweeted it and posted about it on Facebook and wrote a long blog post about it”, that there would be silence.

But!  The good news!  Toasts!  We ordered two.  Each was essentially a very large slice of bread cut into four manageable sized pieces.  One was topped with some kind of oozy cheese, frisée and an unfortunate amount of truffle oil which completely overpowered the toast.  The other was topped with carmelized onions, thin slices of sautéed zucchini and goat cheese.  This was the kind of thing which you finish and immediately want another piece.  Like forget the salad, entrée and dessert – just give me more of those toasts.

There were so many things right with this beauty starting with the bread.  It was a nice thick slice and toasted just enough to make it interesting without hurting your teeth or scratching the roof of your mouth.  The bread was very dense and hearty with just the slightest tang.  A few days later, I happened upon a bread in the grocery store that I thought might be the one they used.  It was made by the Essential Baking Company here in Seattle and I bought that loaf with the idea for our dinner that night now firmly decided.  I had zucchini and onions and I decided to swap out the goat cheese for a saltier Pecorino Romano.

I had some Roasted Red Pepper Pesto in my refrigerator from dinner the previous night and I also had some fresh baby artichokes because I can never resist them when I see them at the farmers’ market.  (We have two artichoke seasons here in the Northwest – spring and fall.)  I decided to braise the hearts in shallots and white wine and purée them a bit in my food processor.  Toast #1 was the zucchini rendition and toast #2 was slathered with the pesto and then the artichokes and sprinkled with fresh thyme.  Both were so good, I decided to make them as my sandwich offering at Saturday’s yoga retreat with my friend Jen.  People really loved them, especially the artichoke one.  Maybe I’ll sell my idea to Dinette and charge them a dollar.

Some tips.  Cut your bread about an inch thick – this is not a crostini.  Make sure you drizzle it with olive oil to coat the surface – you want to keep the bread relatively soft.  For this reason, you will also want to stay near the oven so they don’t overbake.  Because you are using a thick piece of bread, the toppings should be generous.  If you don’t have access to fresh artichokes or don’t want to spend the time breaking them down, you can certainly either use frozen ones, cooked the same way as described, or you can use jarred marinated hearts.  I would rinse them well (I don’t appreciate that pickle-y flavor here) and just purée them.

One Year Ago:  Holly B’s Cappucino Bars
Two Years Ago:  Soba Noodles with Tofu and Bok Choy

Toast with Caramelized Onions and Zucchini

Inspired by Dinette
Serves 2

Whenever I need to caramelize onions for something, I make extra.  It takes no extra effort, they keep well, and are delicious in so many things.

1 large 1-inch thick whole wheat sourdough bread
Olive oil
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 medium zucchini, ends trimmed and thinly sliced
1 tbsp. good quality balsamic vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese

Preheat the oven to 375ºF.  Place the slice of bread on a baking sheet and drizzle liberally with olive oil.  Put the sheet in the oven and bake until the surface is slightly crisp, but there is still quite a bit of give when you push down on it, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat a sauté pan over medium heat.  Drizzle in just enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan, then add the onions and a large pinch of salt.  Cook, stirring frequently, until soft and starting to become translucent, about 10 minutes.  Turn the heat down to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are very fragrant and a deep golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes.  (If have a cast iron skillet, use it.  I love how evenly and quickly the onions caramelize in mine.  You can make these up to 5 days ahead.  Once cool, cover and refrigerate.)

Heat another sauté pan over medium heat.  Drizzle in just enough olive oil to coat the bottom, then add the zucchini slices and a pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper.  Sauté, stirring occasionally, until the zucchini is cooked through and browning in places, about 7 to 10 minutes.  Turn off the heat, then pour in the balsamic vinegar, stirring to coat the zucchini slices.  Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary, keeping in mind that Pecorino Romano is a salty cheese.

To assemble, lay the caramelized onions over the toasted bread, then shingle the zucchini slices on top.  Sprinkle the whole toast with the cheese and return it to the oven to melt the cheese slightly, 5 to 7 minutes.  Cut into four pieces.

Toast with Roasted Red Pepper Pesto and Artichokes
Dana Treat Original
Serves 2

You will definitely have more pesto than you need for this recipe and might have more artichoke purée than you need – both of which are wonderful problems to have.

1 large 1-inch thick whole wheat sourdough bread
1 large shallot, diced
4 baby artichokes
1 lemon
½ cup of white wine
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Roasted Red Pepper Pesto (recipe follows)
1 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves

Make the pesto.  Prepare the bread as described in the recipe above.

Fill a small bowl with cold water.  Trim off the top ¼ of the artichokes.  Tear off and discard most of the outer leaves.  Trim the base and stem so that they are flush with the leaves and then slice each heart in half.  Since they are babies, there is no choke to remove.  Place the halves in the lemon water and repeat with the remaining artichokes.

Heat a sauté pan with a lid over medium heat.  Drizzle in just enough olive oil to coat the bottom, and add the shallots and a pinch of salt.  Cook until just starting to brown, about 5 minutes, then add the artichoke hearts.  Give them a good stir then pour in the wine.  Turn the heat down to medium-low and cover the pan.  Cook until the hearts are fork tender, about 7 minutes, adding more wine if the pan becomes too dry.  On the other hand, if there is a lot of liquid left after the hearts are tender, remove the lid and continue cooking until most of the wine has evaporated.  You don’t want them bone dry.

Scrape the mixture into a food processor, add a pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper, and pulse about 7 times, just enough to create a speadable consistency, but not too uniform.  Chunks are fine.  If the mixture seems too dry, add a bit of olive oil.  Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary.

To assemble, spread a generous portion of Roasted Red Pepper Pesto over the surface of the toast.  Dollop a 1-inch thick line of the artichokes down the center width-wise.  Sprinkle the whole toast with fresh thyme and cut into four pieces.

Roasted Red Pepper Pesto
Makes about 1 cup

1 7-ounce jar roasted red peppers, well drained
½ cup walnuts
1 large garlic clove, chopped
¼ tsp. salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/3 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese (you can also use Parmesan)

Place the peppers, walnuts, garlic, salt and pepper in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade.  Pulse the mixture until chopped.  With the machine running, pour the olive oil through the feed tube and process until the mixture is fairly uniform but with some small chunks.  Transfer to a small bowl and stir in the cheese by hand.

Dynamic Duo

May 11, 2010

The beautiful shrine set up outside Jen’s studio.

The food inside the house.

This past Saturday, I was off to another yoga retreat on Bainbridge Island with my friend Jen.  There are many reasons I treasure these day-long retreats.  One is getting to spend some time with one of my oldest and dearest friends.  Another is that I get to participate in two challenging and invigorating yoga classes.  Another is sharing in this incredible community of women.  And I love getting the chance to cook for those deeply appreciative and very hungry yoginis.

In general, lunch is funny for me.  I usually either eat it out, or scarf down something I would be embarrassed to tell you about before running off to pick up my kids.  I almost never actually prepare something for myself, so it is always a fun challenge to come up with lunch menus for these retreats.  I want to make something hearty yet not heavy and I want there to be plenty of variety.  Even though I almost never eat sandwiches myself (I find them either too spare or too greasy), I try to come up with a new one for each retreat.  Hungry women need sandwiches.

I’ve been on a bit of a creative roll here at Dana Treat.  After feeling tied to my cookbooks for most of my cooking life, I have been branching out and trusting myself more.  This time I had the idea to take the idea of a pan bagnat and run with it.  A pan bagnat is made using a large round of bread which is cut in half, innards scooped out, then stuffed with all manner of things, but traditionally including olives, hard-boiled eggs, and tuna.  The sandwich is made the day before you plan to serve it, wrapped tightly, and stored in the refrigerator so the flavors have a chance to meld and some yummy juices seep into the bread.  I wanted to use the idea, but change up the inside.  To feed 25 people, I knew I would need at least four of these rounds, so I decided to do two each of two different sandwiches.

I immediately had an idea for the first one, an Antipasto Sandwich.  I drizzled whole portabello mushroom caps and thick slices of zucchini with olive oil, sprinkled them with salt and pepper, and roasted them in a 425°F oven until they were nice and soft and a little browned.  I allowed them to cool and then thinly sliced them.  To save time, I used jarred roasted red peppers, and store-bought tapenade and hummus (don’t tell anyone!).  I layered it as follows:  tapenade spread on the bottom of the bread, roasted red peppers, portabello slices, provolone cheese, zucchini slices, chopped marinated artichoke hearts, more cheese, arugula leaves, and hummus spread on the top of the bread.  This sandwich came together easily in my mind and it worked beautifully in practice.  It also held together well under the serrated knife although the bottom of the bread got a little soggy from the tapenade.  No one complained.

The second creation I mulled over for longer.  I had seen a recipe for a sandwich with jack cheese, avocado slices, and a tomatillo/sour cream spread.  Good, but not quite hearty enough for this kind of bread or this kind of eater.  I decided to make a type of corn salsa with scallions and roasted tomatillos, poblano peppers, and cilantro.  I kept the avocado and the jack cheese and moistened the bread with a remoulade sauce made famous by none other than Jen herself.  She serves it with fish tacos and I knew the flavor would work here.  Finally, because I had some and felt like I needed one more layer, I tossed some thinly sliced cabbage with more of the remoulade to make an instant coleslaw and piled that on top.  That sandwich was a little trickier to cut – the filling kept wanting to ooze out the sides – but the flavors were fantastic.  Really unusual for a sandwich and I like unusual.  I’m dubbing that one Corn Salad Sandwich with Tomatillos, Poblano Peppers, and Jack Cheese.

Everyone loved the sandwiches which I think is a great success seeing as I had never made them before and was guessing and hoping it would all come together.

Oh, you thought “Dynamic Duo” referred to my sandwiches?  No, I meant me and Jen.  Yes, that is a birthday cake – her 40th is next week.  Recipe coming soon.  For now, my “unusual” sandwich.

(Don’t forget, I’m giving away Mario Batali’s new cookbook and a bag of the most delicious sun-dried tomatoes.  Enter by leaving a comment on this post by this Friday at noon PDT.)

One Year Ago: Moroccan Carrot and Hummus Sandwiches

Corn Salad Sandwich with Tomatillos, Poblano Peppers, and Jack Cheese
Dana Treat Original
Serves 4-8 depending on how you cut the sandwich

This looks like a long recipe but parts of it can be done in advance and I swear it will take you longer to gather the ingredients for the remoulade than it will to mix it together.  Don’t forget, the whole sandwhich needs to spent the night in the refrigerator for maximum flavor, so plan ahead.

When all is said and done, you may have leftover corn salsa.  I don’t need to tell you the many ways that you could use that delicious stuff, but Randy topped grilled salmon with it and loved it.

For the remoulade:
½ of a small yellow onion, minced
1 stalk of celery, minced
½ cup mayonnaise (I used low-fat)
2 tbsp. ketchup
1 tbsp. chili sauce (I used Sriacha)
10 shakes of Tabasco or other hot sauce
1 tbsp. horseradish
Juice of 1 lemon
Pinch each of paprika and cayenne pepper
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the corn salsa:
1 large poblano pepper
1 pound tomatillos, husked and rinsed
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
4 scallion, green and white parts, thinly sliced
1 cup frozen corn
¼ cup cilantro, roughly chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For final assembly:
¼ head of green cabbage, core removed and thinly sliced
1½ cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided
1 large round bread, preferably sourdough
1 large avocado, thinly sliced

Make the remoulade:
Mix all of the ingredients except the salt and pepper together in a medium bowl.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  (Can be made up to two days ahead.  Cover and store in the refrigerator.)

Make the corn salsa:
Preheat oven to 400°F.  Place the poblano chili and tomatillos together on one rimmed baking sheet.  Do not oil them, just place them in the oven.  Roast for about 15 minutes total, until the skin of the poblano is turning black and the tomatillos are turning brown and starting to leak their juices.  You will need to turn the poblano periodically so it roasts on all sides.  Give the tomatillos a little shake while you are at it.

Remove sheet from the oven and allow the poblano to cool enough to handle.  Gently remove the skin, it doesn’t matter if you don’t get every speck off, and then pull out the seeds and membranes.  Discard those and the top of the chile.  Put the chile in a food processor along with the tomatillos and any juices left on the baking sheet.  Pulse until puréed.  Set aside.  (Can be made one day ahead.  Cover and store in the refrigerator.)

Heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the butter and once it melts, add the scallions.  Sauté for three minutes, just until they start to soften.  Add the corn, give it a good stir, then pour in the poblano mixture along with a good pinch of salt and few grinds of pepper.  Sprinkle in the cilantro and cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the moisture has evaoporated, about 20 minutes.  Set aside.  (Can be made one day ahead.  Cover and store in the refrigerator.)

For final assembly:
Using a serrated knife, cut the bread round in half.  Using your fingers, pull most of the innards out of both the top and bottom of the bread and set aside.  (You can make fresh bread crumbs with this part by allowing them to dry out overnight and then pulsing in your food processor.  Store them in your freezer in storage bags.)  Take about half of the remoulade and spread it over the bottom of the bread round.  Sprinkle with 1 cup of the cheese.  Spoon a generous amount of the corn salsa over top of the cheese.  Lay avocado slices over the salsa, then sprinkle with the remaining ½ cup of cheese.  Put the cabbage in the bowl with the remaining remoulade and mix well.  Put the cabbage down as the top-most layer of the sandwich and cover with the bread top.

Wrap well in plastic and let side in the refrigerator overnight.  Cut into 4 or 8 slices and serve with lots of napkins.

That’s a Wrap

July 31, 2009


When I was putting together the menu for last weekend’s yoga retreat, there were a couple of things that were clear to me.  I wanted to take part in the morning session of yoga, so I needed to make things that could be mostly done ahead of time.  And I wanted to be sure to have some kind of sandwich.  Salads only after 2 hours of hot yoga was not going to satisfy this group.  Last time, I made three giant sandwiches on ciabatta bread which were very well received, but those took a lot of last minute time.  For this retreat, because I wanted to take part in the class, I needed to simplify.

Enter one of my favorite sandwiches ever.  I first made these about 7 years ago and have made them countless times since.  Wraps of any kind are the perfect portable food and these are no exception.  I’ve made them for road trips and for picnics and for dinner when I am craving something healthy with a flavor explosion.

I would have made them in advance but there was a 7:55am ferry to catch and I wasn’t prepared to wake up any earlier than necessary.  Instead, I had all the components ready (hummus made…well, Trader Joe’s made it, olives chopped, sundried tomatoes sliced, balsamic red onions made, tofu sautéed) and put together the wraps in the hour of prep time allotted to me.


The recipe orginally came from Cooking Light but I have made significant changes to it over the years.  The one thing I have kept the same is the ingredients and method for cooking the tofu.  This time I did pan fry it first as the recipe states, but I have also made it by just cooking raw tofu in the sauce.  It’s delicious both ways but the second option is healthier.  Finally, you may want to make extra balsamic onions.  They are spectacular and taste amazing in salads, pastas, you name it.


One Year Ago:  Raspberry Cake and Blueberry Cobbler – both amazing summer desserts.

Zesty Tofu Wraps
Inspired by Cooking Light
Makes 4 wraps

If you are able to find sundried tomatoes that are not packed in oil, but are soft and supple, this is the place to use them.  If you can only find the brittle kind, reconstitute them in hot water for about 30 minutes.  Drain and chop.  You can easily vegan-ize this recipe by leaving out the honey.

1 cup sun-dried tomatoes, not packed in oil, thinly sliced
1 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
1 pound extra-firm tofu
Olive oil
1 large red onion, cut in half and thinly sliced
3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 tbsp. honey
1 tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
4 (10-inch) flour tortillas
4 cups arugula

Cut the tofu lengthwise into quarters.  Dry the tofu well on all sides with paper towels.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Add just enough olive oil to coat the bottom.  Add onions and a pinch of salt.  Sauté until very soft and beginning to brown, 10-15 minutes.  Add balsamic vinegar and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes more.  Set aside.

Combine lemon juice and next 5 ingredients in a small bowl.  Heat pan over medium high heat.  Add just enough olive oil to coat the bottom and then add tofu.  Cook about 6 minutes, browning on all sides.  Stir in lemon juice mixture and cook 1 minute, or until sauce thickens.  (Alternatively, pour sauce into warm pan and immediately add tofu.  Turn on all sides to coat with sauce.)

Warm tortillas, if desired.  Spread about 2 tablespoon of hummus over tortilla.  Top with 1 piece of tofu, 1/4 of the onions, 1/4 of the olives, and 1/4 of the sundried tomatoes.  Add a small handful of arugula and roll up.

UPDATE:  Beth had a good question in the comment section.  She noticed that the tofu in these photos is more log-like than slab-like.  If you follow the recipe as written above, you will get slabs, which work out better for the wraps.  I quadrupled this recipe and actually needed to make 18 wraps, I made my pieces a little smaller.  Hence the logs.

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