If asked for my preference as to how I like my pizza, it would be topped with a salad! Crisp, mixed greens mounted on a hot slice of pizza. I don’t often if ever eat it out this way, but my daughter certainly has seen me do this many times at home and I believe I have caught her piling salad on her pizza too! I finally spotted it on a menu in an Italian restaurant which made me feel quite happy I wasn’t the only one enjoying pizza this way!
The same goes for sandwiches; I’m not a deli meat kind of gal. Grilled veggie Panini’s are fabulous but when I’m not in the mood or have the time to grill, a salad in a sandwich is quick and easy. The ingredients vary depending on what I have on hand, but the method does have importance. Trying to eat a sandwich with loosely mixed ingredients can become quite a messy undertaking. Therefore, after much trial, error and messy hands, I have perfected my salad sandwich making!
To begin with, I love ciabatta bread. It crisps up nicely when lightly grilled and the airy pockets make it lighter, less doughy bread. Still, I cut it not exactly in half lengthwise, about ¾ of the way up and will remove some of the bottom half bread inside to create a “shell or bowl” to fill up with the salad. I spread pesto on the inside of both and grill or broil until lightly golden.
Slicing tomatoes and cucumbers is better for layering in the sandwich than using chopped veggies which will tend to fall out easier. Mixed greens of all sorts, arugula, spinach, romaine, crumbled cheeses, artichokes, garbanzo beans, avocado, roasted peppers, etc, etc, are mixed with a light vinaigrette and piled inside. Sometimes I will lightly broil the filled bottom half to softly melt the cheese and rewarm the top half. The top should be gently pressed over the salad and cut into individual wedges just before serving.
Since there is no mayo in it, it’s great to wrap up and take on a picnic or bike ride!
I love being in the kitchen. Early mornings, soft music, a hot espresso. Easing into the preparation of delicious meals. Glancing through cookbooks, gathering inspiration and planning my day. I look forward to the cycles of the seasons, the pleasures of tasting and savoring and sharing this with those dear to me. Weekends are special to me as my week days are often rushed, but still I create the ambiance, light the candles, set the table and uncork the wine.