Category Archives: Recipes

Looking for summer in a sandwich? We’ve got you covered!

Caprese

In the dog days of summer, the humble Caprese turns up the flavor  without weighing you down.

The Caprese sandwich originates, of course, from Italy’s azure isle of Capri, epicenter of sunbaked la dolce vita lifestyles of the rich and famous.

Representing the patriotic colors of the Italian flag, the name literally means “Capri sandwich.” The masterpiece is created with cheesy pesto, zesty Roma tomatoes, sharp basil, tangy balsamic, and the freshest mozzarella to be found, all drizzled with the nectar of the gods: extra virgin olive oil.

While also evident in salads and even pizza, the Caprese’s key ingredients are the epitome of a light, refreshing summer meal. Pleasing to vegetarians, yet substantial enough to satisfy the most savory of carnivores, the flavors meld and bind together into a mouthwatering flavor explosion featuring the best of high summer’s produce.

There are a few places in Seattle to get your Caprese on: my favorites are Homegrown (several locations, including Fremont, Capitol Hill and Redmond), and Ballard Market’s grilled version.

Perhaps the best way to enjoy the Caprese, and la dolce vita, is by having it like the Italians, alfresco. You can’t really go wrong by DIY’ing this one, the earlier you make it, the better it will taste, as all the flavors have a chance to mix and mingle.

Pack one for a picnic, and slice according to everyone’s appetite. Your guests will be wowed when it’s time to chow down, and you can reply with your best world-weary shrug  a′ la Marcello Mastroianni with, “Caprese? So easy.” Mangia!

Picnic Caprese (Recipe)

Ingredients

1 extra large loaf of bread or baguette (semi-soft bread like focaccia works well)
Pesto sauce (preferably freshly made)
10 fresh small tomatoes (preferably San Marzanos), sliced
10-12 fresh basil leaves, washed, dried and torn
1 10 ounce ball fresh mozzarella, sliced
Balsamic vinegar
Extra-virgin olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste

Directions

Split the baguette lengthwise, spread pesto on bottom half of loaf, top with tomato slices, mozzarella, and basil, drizzle with balsamic vinegar and a touch of olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Press baguette firmly and wrap in plastic. Let sandwich sit, refrigerated, for at least one hour and up to 24 hours. When ready to consume, slice and serve.

What’s your favorite sandwich of the summer? Let me know in the comments below!

Halloween Sammies for DIY Challenged Ghouls & Guys

When the spookiest of holiday seasons calls for crafting, I feel the need to take the nearest glue gun and put myself out of my own misery. The truth is, I lack the patience (and the aptitude) for most DIY projects, so I content myself with admiring the crafty bug in those far more talented. By that, I mean everyone.

While researching Halloween sandwich themes for this post, I stumbled upon some true artists, some pretty crafty DIY’ers, and, my favorite people, the genuinely lazy.  With that in mind, I hope you’ll find something here for whatever creative sandwich level you currently inhabit, or aspire to.

Next-Level Edible Monster Art 

Nuts 'Feratu
Nuts ‘Feratu, created with almond butter, among other things. Photo courtesy of Sandwich Monsters.

So much for grilled cheese jack o’ lanterns! Kasia Haupt Canning creates insane sandwich “monsters” out of anything edible, and somehow makes her painstakingly detailed creations look both achievable (maybe??) and delicious.

Check out the Sandwich Monsters blog and behold her monster gallery, including scary characters like Pickle Rick, Nuts’Feratu (pictured above), Shark ‘A ‘Snack and many more.

While you probably won’t take the time to burn baguettes to create your own monster “hair,” you’ll be sure to find some serious #sammyinspo for Halloween and beyond.

A Snake Sammy to Charm a Crowd

The Snakewich from Taste of Home
The Snakewich recipe will get your Halloween party moving. Photo and recipe courtesy of Taste of Home.

Who doesn’t love a Halloween party? Whether your Monster Mash is at the office or just in the ‘hood, it can be fun to see everyone’s devilish side. Who knew Deb from Accounting was a dead ringer for Elvira?

If you need help feeding a crowd of ravenous zombies, this slithery snake sammy and the accompanying kicky (but not too spicy) “Dragon Sauce” from the blog Taste of Home is sure to please your party animals. Check out the recipe here.

Mummy Likey

Photo and recipe courtesy of Eats Amazing.
These cute Mummy Kebabs are versatile and easy. Photo and recipe courtesy of Eats Amazing.

This idea is fun, relatively easy, and provides so many options with different filling and bread combos. Simply chop, slice and assemble sammy fixins’, thread everything together with a toothpick, attach mummy eyes, and you’re good to go.

For my fellow craft-challenged friends, Eats Amazing even provides an idiot-proof Youtube tutorial. Just make sure you don’t choose fillings that are too droopy or messy or that don’t take well to being poked.

Ghoul-Proof

Spider Sammies
These creepy crawlers can be modified for whatever you’re into! Photo and recipe courtesy of Parents.

This one is for my homies, the people who can’t be bothered with anything elaborate. These scary spiders can be easily modified using ingredients from deli meats to spreads like almond butter and jelly. There’s a reason it’s a classic! You can get this ham ‘n cheese example from Parents here.

What about you, ghouls and guys? Do you have a go-to Halloween sammy that I haven’t covered? Share it with me in the comments below.

Have a safe and spooky Halloween, sandwich lovers!

Sources: Sandwich Monsters, Eats Amazing, Taste of Home, Parents