Thursday, August 22, 2013

Salad & Sandwich Summer: Farmer's Sandwich and Green Bean Tomato Salad

Check out this recipe on my new and improved website:

In my little world of blogdom, fame comes from one or two people saying, "Hey, I noticed you haven't written anything recently." And ladies and gentlemen, I have reached that level of fame! Thanks to some fans (well... fams may be the more honest term) asking me about the Walking Cookbook, it is time to do my last installation of Salad & Sandwich Summer. It all came about quite serendipitously, actually. To lead up to it, here's a recap of my summer:

School ended, I went to a wedding, and then I visited California... fabulous start to the vacay, but no cooking involved.
The Hearst Castle in San Simeon, CA. Beautiful!

I taught summer school. My evenings were spent packing and frantically searching for a new apartment. Read this for some insight on the worst task in the world... finding an NYC apartment. Very little cooking involved.

I moved. No cooking involved. But I do have a nice big living room and a pretty city view!
New living room. So big!
City view at night. That little purple thing towards the right
is the Empire State Building honoring the
Women's Tennis Association tonight

I started to settle into my new kitchen (always an adjustment). No pots, pans, or cutlery at first, but I am now equipped and in love with my set of Victorinox knives. Best deal in town, folks. Now there gets to be some cooking involved.

I have enjoyed playing tourist in my own urban backyard... I was at Battery Park, the southernmost point of Manhattan, one day and Inwood Hill Park, the northernmost point of Manhattan, the next. I went on food tours with Sidewalks of NY, exploring the culinary delights of the Lower East Side and Greenwich Village. I walked the Brooklyn Bridge and stopped right in other people's way to get the perfect picture. I hosted my brother's visit, got 18th place in a city scavenger hunt, rented a rowboat from the Central Park Boathouse, went to Coney Island, and watched a Mets game. I love this city.
A goose in the Central Park lake
Economy Candy, and jam-packed old school candy store in the LES
Mets game at Citi Field 

My plan for this evening was to make a nice picnic and enjoy it in Central Park for their free film festival screening of West Side Story (did I mention how much I love this city?). It poured rain most of the day, though, and soggy grass isn't really my thing. So Central Park became my living room floor, West Side Story became Mary Poppins, and my picnic became an indoor affair. Thus emerged my last summer salad and sandwich set... perfect for any picnic, whether outdoors or in.
Next time I am bringing my projector from school!

Farmer's Sandwich
From The Kitchn
Yield: 4 sandwiches

This sandwich was perfect as detailed in the recipe from The Kitchn, so I feel no need to repeat it here. Follow the link, and take the time to make the Onion-Thyme Jam. It is absolutely worth it. This sandwich, if you can find delicious, quality ingredients, will not let you down. I used Shelburne Two Year Cheddar that I bought at Saxelby Cheesemongers in the Essex Street Market (yet another exploration) and fresh Ciabatta from Fairway Market

Since I did not have to transport my sandwiches, I set up a sort of buffet and added a few extra toppings than are in the recipe: thinly sliced turkey breast, avocado, and mayo. Once all the ingredients are prepped, just layer, layer, layer, and the sandwich will be ready to go.

Green Bean and Tomato Salad with Tarragon Dressing
From Food & Wine
Yield: 12 servings (I cut this recipe into fourths for my purposes)

Like the sandwich, there is nothing about this recipe that needed to be changed to share with you. I don't really think about tarragon too often, so I decided to take advantage of the opportunity to use it and learn a little more about it. It tastes a bit like anise/fennel/licorice, though much milder, and many websites recommend pairing it with shallots, which this recipe does. I was surprised how tasty this simple salad was, but with nice, fresh ingredients I was pleased with the turnout. I used baby heirloom tomatoes to get some colorful variety in the salad since I was not able to find yellow green beans (oxymoron?). I recommend letting the shallots and tarragon hang out in the oil for a little while. That way when you toss the beans in it the flavors will be all throughout the salad.

I hope that summer has been as good to you as it has been to me. I look forward to memorizing more recipes and continuing my quest to become a Walking Cookbook. As all teachers will understand, happy new year to you!