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Between the Bread

August is National Sandwich Month so upgrade your PB&J to a gourmet hero!

The Crispy Caprese – Courtesy of Chef Terrance Brennan of Artisanal. This grown-up version of the grilled cheese uses rich burrata in lieu of the classic American cheese slice. To get that perfectly gooey texture, let your cheese sit on the counter an hour before cooking to help it melt more evenly.

Ingredients – Makes one sandwich 1 Tablespoon butter 2 slices Italian country bread 1 ripe tomato, sliced Several leaves of fresh basil 3 ounces fresh burrata or mozzarella

Directions Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and preheat an iron skillet over medium heat. On a separate plate, butter the outside of the bread and place the non-cheese ingredients between two slices of cheese to keep the bread from sliding off.

Add ½ tablespoon of butter to the skillet and cook to brown. Lay the sandwich in the pan and cook the first side for 1 ½ minutes or until a toasted brown. Flip and cook for an additional 30 to 45 seconds. Spread the remaining butter on the just-browned side, transfer the sandwich to a baking sheet and place in the oven for a few minutes until the cheese has fully melted.

Let sit for one minute before eating.

Grown Up PB&J – Courtesy of Blissful Basil. The sweet and salty combination of peanut butter and jelly is brought to a whole new level with these “grown up” substitutions: almond butter and strawberry compote.

Ingredients – Makes two sandwiches 4 slices crusty whole grain bread, toasted 4 Tablespoons strawberry compote (recipe below) 4 ounces brie cheese, cut into four slices 3 Tablespoons almond butter Handful of arugula

Directions Heat broiler on low heat. Place two slices of toasted bread on baking pan and layer each with two slices of brie cheese. Place under broiler for 3-4 minutes until cheese has melted. Remove from oven and top each with 2 tablespoons of strawberry compote.

Slather reserved slices of bread with almond butter and a small handful of arugula. Place sandwich halves together and serve immediately.

Strawberry Compote – Makes one cup Ingredients 2 cups fresh strawberries, sliced 2-3 tablespoons agave nectar

Directions Heat a small saucepan over medium0high heat. Add strawberries and agave nectar and cook until strawberries begin to break down into a thick compote, about 15-20 minutes.

Asian Turkey Sandwich with Hoisin Mayonnaise – Courtesy of Real Simple. When you need a break from the comforting turkey and Swiss cheese routine, try this turkey sandwich iteration with Asian-inspired flavors.

Ingredients – Makes two sandwiches ½ cucumber 1 small carrot ½ cup reduced-fat mayonnaise 1 Tablespoon hoisin sauce 2 sandwich rolls, split 4 ounces thinly sliced roasted turkey ½ cup fresh mint leaves 1 scallion, thinly sliced Kosher salt

Directions Using a vegetable peeler, cut the cucumber and carrot into long, thin stripes. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise and hoisin sauce. Dividing evenly, spread the rolls with the mayonnaise mixture and fill with turkey, mint, scallion, cucumber and carrot. Season with ¼ teaspoon salt.

Fancy BLT Grilled Cheese Sandwiches – Courtesy of Simply Scratch– Semi-homemade garlic mayonnaise alongside a sundried tomato and walnut pesto is a revelation for the classic BLT sandwich.

Ingredients – Makes two sandwiches 2 heads of garlic 2 Tablespoons honey ½ cup mayonnaise 4 thick slices sourdough bread 4 Tablespoons butter 2 Tablespoons sundried tomato and walnut pesto (recipe below) 6 ounces grated Fontina cheese 1 ½ cups loosely packed fresh baby spinach 10 slices cooked thick cut bacon

Directions To make garlic mayonnaise, slice off the top third of both heads of garlic. Place the garlic into an oven-safe baking dish and drizzle with honey. Cover tightly with foil and bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for about 45 minutes. Remove the garlic using tongs and let cool. Once safe to handle, squeeze the garlic cloves into a bowl and cool completely. Add mayonnaise to honey roasted garlic an dmix, braking up the roasted garlic cloves. Refrigerate until ready to use.

To assemble sandwiches, preheat griddle to 350 degrees. Butter one side of each of the slices of sourdough bread. On the un-buttered side smear a tablespoon of sundried tomato and walnut pesto on each half of the sandwich. Top with a little grated Fontina, spinach, bacon and finish with more grated cheese. Top with remaining slices of sourdough, butter side up and griddle until golden. Cover with a domed lid or tented foil to speed up the melting process.

Sundried Tomato and Walnut Pesto Ingredients ¼ cup walnuts ½ cup packed sun-dried tomatoes (about 5 small tomatoes, packed in olive oil) ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese 4-5 large fresh basil leaves 1 clove garlic, peeled and roughly chopped ¼ cup olive oil, more if desired 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice 1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Directions Combine ingredients in a food processor. Process until thick and paste-like. Add more olive oil if mixture is too dry and crumbly.