Thursday, September 29, 2005


Out-Of-This World Cucumber Sandwich

I've got a little story to tell you about this cucumber sandwich. It's truly awesome. You might be thinking "How can anyone get this excited about a vegetable sandwich?" I didn't get this excited either... till I tried it.

Earlier in September I invited some friends to join our family in attending an Italian Picnic. My husband belongs to the Colombo Club which has an annual picnic where we eat, listen to Italian music, eat some more, throw the potato at the hanging salami and just plain have fun. I did win a salami by the way. I have a pretty good arm if I say so myself.

Anyway, my friend Jeanne decided to bring along a few items to make this cucumber sandwich. So while we were busy chatting away, she put together this big ol sandwich.

She started with this big French bread, Semi Freddi's Ciabatta. She cut it in half, length wise and then added this brown mixture to the bread. Jeanne pretty much covered this bread with the mixture. She said something about it containing balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

Next out came her traveling cutting board and knife which she used to slice radishes, cucumber, red bell peppers, red onion, tomato, fresh mozzarella cheese and roasted garlic. She layered these vegetables on the bread and then added spinach topped with more balsamic dressing. The thing was huge and I wondered who was going to eat it all. I knew my family wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole.

Honestly, I watched this sandwich being made and thought, "I don't think I'm going to be too crazy about this. I don't even like radishes". Of course I didn't want to offend Jeanne, especially after all the work she went to to make it. I'd have to at least try it.

When Jeanne was done she asked if I wanted to try it. "Sure" I responded. "But just a small piece" I added.

She warned me that it would be kind of messy. "You might have olive oil dripping down your arms and that's how we eat it!" Jeanne said with proud voice.

So I took my first bite and couldn't believe it. It tasted wonderfully incredible. I had no idea a sandwich full of vegetables could taste this good. I don't know if calling this a cucumber sandwich does it justice. It is incredibly messy but it's worth all the napkins you use.

I believe the success of this sandwich lies with two key ingredients. The bread and the balsamic vinaigrette dressing. They both have to be exceptional. You can put a bunch of vegetables in some white bread and call it a sandwich but you won't get the satisfaction that this sandwich brings. It's always about a great sauce.

After that picnic I made that sandwich at home for the next 5 days in a row. I couldn't get enough of it. Then my 12 year old son asked for a bite on one of those days. Then he wanted another bite and soon he asked me to make it for his lunch at school. Unbelievable. He would never eat those radishes or onions let alone a tomato in his salad. Yet he would eat and rave on about this sandwich at school.

So all I can say is, "you gotta try it".

Here is the recipe. You can make one huge sandwich like Jeanne did or slice a 4 inch slice off the loaf and make an individual sandwich.

This is for an individual cucumber sandwich:


Cut off a 4 inch piece of French bread and slice in half for sandwich. Pour a tablespoon and 1/2 into a bowl and add a teaspoon or two of EVOO, extra virgin olive oil. Stir with a spoon.

Drizzle fairly liberally the dressing on one half of the bread and then layer the radishes, garlic, bell pepper, mozzarella cheese, cucumber, tomato, red onion, and spinach leaves.

Drizzle more dressing on top and on the other half of the bread. It's going to look very huge. Stuff is going to fall out when you take a bite. So go ahead, use your hands and have lots of napkins available.

You are going to love this cucumber sandwich. Leave me a comment and let me know how you like it. Sure is a great way to get some veggies in your diet.

Have a great day,

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