Don’t let this heat stop you from enjoying a scrumptious morsel. This sandwich is the perfect balance on balmy days.
If I had to choose one thing to have as my final meal it would have to be a ciabatta loaf, straight from the oven. Sliced thickly, rubbed with a clove of garlic then drizzled with first cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil. I’ve been going a bit nuts with bread this week on Smiling Chef and it’s probably because I’m in love with the stuff. Today I’ve got another winner in the form of an open sandwich which magically came into being as I was making a salad for dinner one night. I was peeling some asparagus and cucumbers when A Piece of Shortcake came into the kitchen to “help” [stare hungrily at the food]. Our conversation went something like this:
APoS: “What are you doing?”
BtSC: “Making dinner.”
APoS: “What are you gonna do with the asparagus?”
BtSC: “Peel it and some cucumber, then add some cashews.”
[At that moment we had that brain sync that twins tend to have; we really are twins separated by three years]:
APoS: “You should toast some bread…”
BtSC: “I was just thinking that.”
APoS: “Nah, you took my idea.”
BtSC: “Ahem, I’m the one doing the cooking.”
[And so began our typical sibling rival battle, until…]
APoS: “Fine but you have to mention me in the post.”
[To which I replied…]
BtSC: “Yeah, as if.” [But of course I was going to mention her]
Prep Time 10 mins | Cooking Time 2 mins | Serves 4
- 1 bunch asparagus, washed, dried
- 2 Lebanese cucumbers, washed, dried
- 200g raw cashews (or roasted)
- 8 slices ciabatta (or other traditional bread)
- 1 clove garlic
- Olive Oil
- Balsamic Vinegar
Peel the veggies: Trim about 2 cm off the end of the asparagus bunch. Place a single asparagus stem flat on a chopping board. Run a vegetable peeler along its length which will produce a ribbon of asparagus. Repeat for the remaining asparagus and the cucumbers. Place the veggies into a large bowl with the cashews and dress with the balsamic vinegar and olive oil, salt and pepper according to taste. Set aside
Toast the bread: Using a toaster or in a frying pan over medium heat until cooked to your liking. Slice the clove of garlic in half and rub the warm bread with the cut side. The bread will be infused with a garlic aroma.
Assemble the sandwich: Place two slices of bread per person onto a serving plate. Drizzle with some olive oil. Divide the salad among the plates, arranging it decoratively on the bread. Serve.
If you like you can serve this sandwich with slices of good quality ham or cooked bacon or prosciutto. As with all meats make sure that you have sourced it responsibly, choosing a producer and butcher that supports sustainable practises.
Happy Cooking and Keep Smiling,