Thursday Night is Sandwich Night in the Thomas household, because it’s the night I most need a break from the cooking routine. I make sandwiches that come together very quickly mostly with ingredients that I already have on hand, I and serve them up with a large salad. It is possibly my husband’s favorite meal of the week.
The great secret of bread is that you can do all you want with wild yeast, or pre-fermented dough, or organic ingredients, but the main thing is that it be fresh. If bread is fresh, it falls somewhere on the scale between pretty good and excellent, depending on how clever the baker is. I sort of figure that if I’m going to slather all sorts of pestos and such on the stuff anyway, I don’t need to have the most expensive and wonderful bread to start. Instead, I begin with basic rolls which I have stored in the freezer, and I thaw them and give them a final crisping bake at 400 degrees for about 5 – 7 minutes. If you like sandwiches made with baguettes, this technique also works well.
My basic sandwich is pesto, apple, Parmesan, and turkey. I do this one a lot because it works well not only for the adults but also the kids. Well, OK, the kids dissect it and then eat the elements, but whatever. At least it’s not me having to make two separate meals. Also, I always keep pesto in the freezer, and so this is about the easiest slightly fancy sandwich I know. Another good vegetarian variation for pesto would be roasted red peppers from the jar with mushrooms and Parmesan. My kids wouldn’t touch that though.
My friend H asked for my basic Arugula Pesto, which is in fact, Jack Bishop’s recipe (he’s a genius, buy his books!). Here it is, below:
1 bag arugula
1 clove garlic, mashed
1/4 – 1/2 C pecans (start small, and then add more to taste)
2 Tbs olive oil
salt to taste (no need for the pepper with the sharp arugula in there)
Blend all ingredients in a food processor. Use within 3 days, or freeze.