We’re not sure this is a classic Danish open faced sandwich in the sense that the toppings are a bit untraditional. Fried sage and Dukkah? That’s not what you would typically see in a Danish sandwich shop. But the concept is very typical: Meatball sandwiches are seen everywhere and classic toppings includes sweet pickles, lettuce and mushrooms. We just improvised on the theme, adding a bit of San Diego flair…
This is a very simple sandwich, which basically is a great piece of Naan bread from Trader Joe’s, a slice of salmon, and a touch of tarragon mustard. I’m sure any Indian would cringe his or her toes considering the bread to be actual Naan, but whatever it is we get it every few months. It is a very soft and thick bread that almost melts in your mouth.
Last summer we went on vacation to Greece, to the island of Lesvos. We were prepared to taste amazing foods, local delicacies and great tasting salads. Our friends have told us enough stories about the Greek islands that we were rather excited to taste the cuisine. Honestly though, it was a bit of a letdown. The island seems to have gotten a bit ‘touristy’, and the food was usually bland. It wasn’t bad per se, it was just not very interesting. After two weeks eating all over the island, we did find a restaurant on the last day of our trip which was actually great, but that was the exception. Given the less-than-satisfying culinary experiences, we did find one simple dish we kept returning to; The greek salad. It is a salad with a simple dressing, topped with a gigantic block of feta cheese. We decided to combine this a little with the pan seared feta dish called saganaki. We roasted a slice of feta in the oven, and placed it on top of a simple salad on toast. The result was amazing, and here is the recipe.
Salad dressing, you say, how does that have anything to do with sandwiches? Well, one of our culinary experiments resulted in a delicious ham sandwich using this dressing as a spread. Anders loves tarragon. I mean, he really loves it. In our love of gardening, we’ve made many attempts at growing this delightful herb but to no avail. As I write this, there is a plant languishing on our patio in complete defiance of all the love, attention and desperate hope that has been directed at. But I digress. Lucky for us, we live close to a neighborhood grocery that sells fresh tarragon when in season, and when not, they sell huge bags of the dried stuff. And when life gives you tarragon, why not make a tarragon salad dressing?
So here’s the recipe:
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp whole grain mustard
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp dried tarragon
- 1 tbs honey (or to taste)
- kosher salt
- fresh pepper
In a small bowl, combine vinegar, mustard, garlic and tarragon. Mix well and taste. Depending on how well aged your balsamic vinegar is, you might not need the honey. The one we use is on the lower side of the price point and so does need a little help to soften the flavor. Add honey, if needed. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, whisking continuously. That’s it. We’ve make this dressing quite a lot and find that as good as it is freshly made, it tastes even better the next day after the tarragon has a better chance to infuse the dressing with its flavor. It works great as a dressing, tossed with boiled/baked new spring potatoes, grilled veggies and so many more.
But since this is a sandwich blog after all, the sandwich incarnation can be found here in this “Pepper Ham Sandwich With Tarragon Salad Dressing, Cheese, Roasted Garlic And Smoked Paprika.“
One of our favorite bakeries in San Diego is the Hillcrest bakery Bread & Cie. Not only are the breads good, it is also one of the only decent bakeries making rustic breads, ‘rustic’ being one of those words that can mean anything to anyone. To us, rustic means that it does not look like a soggy machine produced block of bread, and that the crust is crunchy, and the crumb tasty. “You know it when you taste it”, we say. With a little help from Costco, we found some more of their great cilantro lime shrimp, and having some leftover homemade Caesar dressing, we took this baby for a spin.
This is an old favorite of mine, going back to my college years. At my dorm, one of my friends’ dad worked for a large company that delivered meats and groceries for supermarkets. As a result, they were sent huge amounts of samples, which they stored in two large freezers. When he visited the dorm, he filled his car with samples for us all to enjoy. This included giant steaks, fast food pizzas, and meats of all types. So while my life up until then consisted of pizzas and chili, this was a challenge. You can’t just plop a steak in the microwave and eat it, so all we could really do was learn how to cook it right. As a consequence, our ‘kitchen’ began evolving some pretty advanced culinary tastes, and soon started to realize that there is more to life than fast-food pizza, and cooking is not really all that hard. One of the results of that time is this dressing, which we made to accompany a batch of frozen falafel. It’s easy, and complements both the falafel, but also meats very well. We will be using it in a few sandwiches soon to be released.
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