Peppered Peach and Manchego Sandwiches


Peaches, peaches, peaches. How I love thee.

Looking for some way to maximize peaches in our lives, I hit upon the following. It is quick, makes very little in the way of mess or dishes, doesn’t heat up your apartment with the oven, and is a delicious change of pace.

Peppered Peach and Manchego Sandwiches

  • 1 large peach
  • Manchego cheese
  • slices of thick sandwich bread
  • arugula
  • butter
  • fresh ground black pepper

Cut the peach from its pit in thick slices.  1/2 slices are best.  Over low heat in a lightly-greased pan, saute them with slivers of butter and lots of black pepper on top of each.  Meanwhile, toast the sandwich bread and layer one side of each sandwich with thin slices of the Manchego.  When the peaches are starting to look a bit gooey or caramelized, layer them on top of the Manchego.  The heat will soften the cheese.  Cover the peaches with arugula, pour whatever peachy butter runoff remains in the pan on the top halves of the sandwich bread, then slice in half and serve.

Open-Faced Squash and Goat Cheese Sammies

squash sandwichThere’s a perception that vegetarians are required to worship all vegetables equally. Unfortunately, embracing a meat-free diet does not mean that there are not certain members of the plant kingdom that you’d rather skip. For me, it’s raw bell peppers. For Jason, it’s summer squash, so this is a particularly tough time of year for him to stare down our farm share. As we were cooking on Saturday night, he gave me a sidelong glance over the cutting board and said, “Maybe we only need one squash for these sandwiches.”

“Two,” I said. “Trust me, squash hater. I’m going to do right by you.”

Doing right is much easier armed with some caramelized onions and a few medallions of delicious Quebecois goat cheese brought back from a weekend in Montreal. (Fear not, readers; a poutine post is coming.) Top them with some mint to balance out the richness, and you’re treading in the footsteps of angels.

A half hour later, Jason uttered the words, “This is fantastic,” and he wasn’t talking about the DVD copy of Airplane!  we were watching. Surely, there’s hope for even the most difficult-to-love veggies.

Open-Faced Squash and Goat Cheese Sandwiches Continue reading

Shannon’s Guide to NYC’s Best Vegetarian Sandwiches


The greasy paper, picnic table majesty of a Parisi sandwich

Recently, I went to a Volume 1 Brooklyn event celebrating the launch of their sandwich-themed essay collection. It’s not hard to surmise why I attended. Just about everyone in the audience had a deep love of sandwiches; you could see it in their eyes. And while I had no complaints about the quality of the writing, I was underwhelmed by the quality of the sandwiches discussed. It felt a little like a group therapy session for those suffering from sandwich guilt, finally airing their dirty secrets about Arby’s, Subway and White Castle.

People! You live in New York City, a veritable cornucopia of beautiful sandwiches! I am a vegetarian, so a large percentage of these sandwiches fall outside of my purview, and STILL I can list a number of sandwiches that are absolutely-cannot-miss experiences. In fact, I think I will do just that.

Parisi Bakery, Little Italy: Early in our relationship, I was reading a manuscript by Jason that had an extended sandwich-eating scene. My comment in the margins was something like, “I don’t really see how this scene moves the plot along,” and he sheepishly admitted that he wrote it mostly because he wanted to describe a Parisi sandwich. Now that I’ve had them, I know why. Parisi is the most old school of Italian bakeries, and when they pile their fresh rolls with loads of fresh mozzarella, pesto, pepperoncini and just about any other topping your heart desires, all for about eight or nine bucks…marone! Now that’s a sandwich.

Noodle Bar, West Village: Most people wouldn’t go searching for sandwiches at a spot that specializes in a very different kind of food, but I can’t get enough of the vegetarian sau bien at this place. Continue reading

Quick ‘n Clean Ricotta Salata & Arugula Sandwich

Quick n Clean Ricotta Salata SandwichWho knows ricotta salata?  If not, you probably know ricotta.  It’s the spreadable white Italian cheese stuffed in pasta shells and ravioli and, when mixed with sugar, cannoli shells.  It’s mild enough to be put to a variety of uses.

Ricotta salata is its overworked, salty cousin who’s been around the block.  Ricotta is put under pressure, salted, and dried, and the result is an inexpensive, semi-hard cheese a bit firmer than feta and with a pleasant saltiness and maybe a hint of tang.  I think it’s great for snacking, but it’s also a fantastic ingredient in any kind of simple, clean-tasting dinner.  And thus the resulting recipe, a suuuuuper easy and uncluttered sandwich in which each ingredient stands out and is given room to breathe and be enjoyed on its own.

Quick ‘n Clean Ricotta Salata & Arugula Sandwich

  • Quality, crusty bread (this is key; weak-ass stuff from the Wonderbread aisle will sink anything)
  • Arugula
  • Capers
  • 1/4 of one lemon
  • ricotta salata
  • olive oil Continue reading

Quick Dinner Sandwiches: Torta Riffage and Beauteous Red Onions

This is onion overkill.  I had to remove probably two-thirds of these to get the taste proportions correct.

This is onion overkill. I had to remove probably two-thirds of these to get the taste proportions correct.

I love immigrants.  I’m convinced that if anything is to save the U.S. from its tech-tweaked obliviousness and proudly-uninformed politics, it will be immigrants coming here to kick ass and remind the rest of us how it is done.  There are two primary personal experiences that actualize this feeling of love.  The first is the rare experience of taking a cab (always driven by an immigrant) and leaving soothed by the reminder that people all over the world still see this as the place to come and work your ass of in relative peace and safety.  The second is the torta.

The torta is the ultimate combination of Mexican gastronomic glory and that ultimate form in American dining: the sandwich.  Its bread is white-bread hero rolls, and I don’t even care.  We eat beans a lot in our house because 1) they’re super tasty, 2) they’re super inexpensive, and 3) they’re super inexpensive, and after paging through cookbooks looking for something out of the ordinary to make for dinner and getting distracted by a recipe for marinating onions, I decided to riff on the torta motif with those onions as the primary ingredient. Continue reading

I’ll Have the Usual


I'm still a little in love with Sam Malone.

I was still in the single digits for most of the illustrious run of Cheers on television, too young, really, to understand much about alcohol or why bars might be a good place to hang out. But even then, I loved that the characters could belly up to the bar and Sam or Woody would just slide a beer over to them while conversing about something entirely unrelated. I was a painfully shy child, and I hated having to talk to strangers (i.e. waiters) about what I felt like eating. A place where everyone knew your name and knew what you wanted before you even had to ask? It sounded heavenly to me.

Ever since, I’ve held in high esteem the archetype of the regular, but I’ve had a hard time putting on that mantle. My first attempt was during my weeklong summer sojourns at my grandparents’ house when I  would accompany my grandfather to buy his morning paper. Every day, he stopped at a little joint called Rollin’s on the way home, and they always had a cup of coffee poured for him before he was fully in the door. I fancied that after enough times, I could just saunter in, spread my copy of Harriet the Spy on the counter and be served my grape juice straight up.  But my grandfather was always too solicitous, worried that I was bored, and would nervously run down a list of items I could order in place of or in addition to my regular order. Geez, Grandpa, pizza at ten in the morning? You’re ruining our style here.

broadway gourmet

My usual lunch date. (photo courtesy of the sushi fruit hating Devin)

Even as I got older and outgrew my deathly fear of waitstaff, the stars just never aligned correctly for me to be a regular. Big cities, where I’ve lived most of my adult life, are tough for the regulars, because there are just too many restaurants with too many choices to commit wholeheartedly to the lifestyle of “I’ll have the usual.” Variety is what I love most about the New York dining scene, but sometimes you want to go…well, you know.

And then, just as I was beginning to doubt my potential as regular material, an avocado and cheddar sandwich came and tapped me on the shoulder. It’s a beautiful mess of cheese and sprouts and cucumber and mayo on multigrain bread. We met at the Broadway Gourmet Deli, just downstairs from where I work, and we rendezvous at least once a week. Mind you, it isn’t always an easy relationship. Continue reading

The TLT: Summer Between Two Slices of Bread

The TLTBoy, do people love their bacon. Rarely have I come across a food that inspires such raw passion in people. Just this week, while a co-worker, Devin, and I were discussing the Powerball jackpot having reached astronomical sums, he said that if he won, he would throw me a cool couple million if I, a longtime vegetarian, would eat an entire pig. I’m not sure if this was meant to be some kind of gladiatorial entertainment or if he merely wanted to share his love of pork with the world. Devin did not win Powerball, so I guess we will never find out.

But that does not mean that I am immune to bacon’s charms. I have very happy memories of childhood summer dinners that consisted entirely of big BLTs and fresh ears of boiled sweet corn. To me, bacon is the taste of summer, and a curious package that my mom sent me while I was living in Cambodia helped me to recreate that taste in vegetarian form. Along with other comforts of home, like American magazines, was a shaker of something called Bacon Salt, completely vegetarian but very bacon-y. Bribing the postman to get that package out of hock might have been some of the best money I ever spent. I sliced some tofu from the market very thinly, sprinkled it with bacon salt, popped it in the oven, and boom…it was like I was back in Ohio. The Tofu, Lettuce and Tomato sandwich was born.

Over the years I have perfected the recipe, and I think it’s much tastier than the substitute bacon that you can buy at the grocery store. I will share it below for any bacon-loving vegetarians or anyone who is craving something a little lighter than pork on a hot summer evening. Make one soon while the sweet corn is plentiful and the tomatoes are at their juiciest.

Tofu Bacon Continue reading

Brussels Sandwiches in a Pinch

During the past few months, I’ve not gotten home from work until 9:00 on Mondays through Thursdays.  Shannon has been getting home at 8:00 Mondays and Wednesdays.

This has made cooking dinner a drag.

But in a pinch last week, Shannon hit on the idea of using left over Brussels Sprouts, which she’d cooked the night before with Dijon mustard, in a sandwich.


Ours used the mustard Brussels, cherry tomatoes, and cheddar cheese melted and pressed between slices of farmers market bread.

I get the feeling you could stick these on any kind of bread with any kind of melted cheese and be good to go.