Sandwich Nicoise

Nicoise sandwichThe warm, dry winter California experienced is bumping the seasons forward a bit this year. Trees are already changing into their autumn finery, and while the light doesn’t say, “Summer’s over,” just yet, there’s definitely a sense that it’s about to wind to an end.

Because it’s been so warm for so long, much of our summery wines had already been enjoyed, and our very last bottle of rosé sat lonely in the refrigerator. With the sense of change in the air, it felt like it was time to seize the opportunity to enjoy that lovely, pink wine while the evenings were still warm.

But what to pair it with? Salad Niçoise is always a bright and savory choice for a summer’s meal, but wouldn’t it be even better sandwiched between two halves of a sourdough roll? With such a thought in mind, I created one heck of a sandwich.

Sandwich Niçoise

Serves 2-4

2 sourdough French rolls
1 Tablespoon butter
dash of garlic powder
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
extra virgin olive oil
2 eggs
6 new, tiny fingerling potatoes
1 Tablespoon olive tapenade (Use nicoise olives to make your tapenade if you can find them.)
anchovy paste to taste
1 very small red pepper, sliced thinly
dried parsley
salt and pepper to taste
1 Tablespoon of chopped green onions
1 can of tuna packed in olive oil
1 heirloom tomato, sliced thinly

Wash potatoes. Put a small pot of water on to boil. Sprinkle in some salt and add the potatoes. Once the water begins to do a roiling boil, carefully put the eggs in. Put on a lid and turn off the fire. Let the potatoes and eggs sit for 20 minutes. Pour off the water and rinse with cold water until the eggs are only slightly warm to the touch. Peel the eggs and slice. Cut the potatoes in half and drizzle with olive oil as well as sprinkling them with salt, pepper, and parsley. Set aside.

While the potatoes and eggs sit, warm a stove top griddle over low heat. Slice the rolls in half, butter each half and sprinkle with garlic powder. Place on the griddle until the open faces of the bread is golden brown. Remove from heat.

Spread mustard on each piece of bread. Spread tapenade on one slice of each roll and anchovy paste on the other slices. Sprinkle the onions on the tapenade side and press down lightly. Then assemble the sandwiches with the rest of the ingredients, layering carefully so everything doesn’t slide right out. I put the tuna on top of the anchovy paste, the red pepper next, then the tomato, egg slices, and finally, the potatoes.
This is a huge sandwich, so feel free to share the other half with your other half and save the other sandwich for later.
Serve with a side of green beans (a staple of Salad Niçoise), and enjoy this last breath of summer.

Peachy Keen Sandwich

Oh, summer! While I’m not a fan of the intense heat, I am a very definite fan of the sweet flavors that the heat produces. Peaches are an obvious example of the glories of hot temperatures. Tomatoes are another.

When the mercury rises, I tend to get on caprese sandwich kicks, and I’ve made quite a few already this season. To change things up a bit, I decided to grill some peaches as a substitute for tomatoes. The result was heavenly.

I have a few of notes about this sandwich. One is that I always use a griddle when preparing my bread. Creating a toasted garlic bread brings me back to nights spent at my grandma and grandpa’s house. Grandma would make me garlic bread, toasted face-down on the griddle as a just-before-bed snack. The second is that I mistakenly purchased a tarter sauce jar when I meant to pick up mayonnaise. It was quite the happy accident, as a thin smear of the sauce has brought my sandwiches to a new level of flavor. And of course, if you don’t have a griddle/grill reversible pan, griddle the bread in a regular pan, and if you have a real grill, enjoy the outdoors while cooking those peaches.

Grilled Peach, Basil, and Mozzarella Sandwich

One peach, sliced

Two sprigs lemon basil, leaves removed from stem

sandwich roll

sliced mozzarella

drizzle of fig balsamic vinegar

tarter sauce with jalapeno and horseradish

tsp butter

garlic powder, salt, and pepper to taste

Warm up grill side of grill pan on medium-high heat. Place peach slices on grill. Drizzle with vinegar and sprinkle with salt and pepper. After two minutes, turn over slices and repeat process. After two more minutes, remove from grill and set on a plate to cool.

Scrub down grill and flip to griddle side. Warm griddle on medium-low heat.

Cut roll in half. Butter each half and dust with garlic powder. Place halves butter-side-down on griddle and heat until golden. Remove from heat.

Spread sauce thinly over each slice of bread. On one half, add the basil leaves and sliced mozzarella. On the other half, add the grilled peaches. Drizzle leftover peach and vinegar liquid that has pooled on the plate over mozzarella. Fold halves together and enjoy with a sparkling moscato.


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