Swedish Meatball Sandwich

I had pulled out some ground beef for homemade burgers for lunch yesterday and was thinking about what I was going to do this week for sandwiches. I looked at the beef and thought, “I should leave half of this aside to make meatballs for a meatball sandwich.” As I thought about the meatball idea more, I was struck with another thought, “I haven’t made Swedish meatballs for the blog yet, this would be a great way to do it…oh and find a cool Swedish bread idea for it too.”

The sandwich evolved in the last 24 hours to a simple meatball sandwich to Swedish Meatballs with boiled potato, mashed fresh berries and homemade Dinkelbröd, or Swedish style spelt bread. It turned out hearty and delicious! I’ll definitely be baking the bread again and making these meatballs regularly! Enjoy!!

Swedish Meatball Sandwich

For the Swedish Meatballs:

200g/7 oz ground beef

100g/4 oz sausage meat (I used a hot Italian pork sausage)

1/4 cup dry whole wheat breadcrumbs

2 Tbsp heavy cream

1 large egg

1 tsp ground fennel seeds

1 tsp salt

   In a small bowl, combine, the breadcrumbs and cream until smooth. Set aside.

   In a medium bowl, combine the ground beef, sausage meat, egg, breadcrumb mixture, fennel seeds and salt. Lightly moisten a large plate with a bit of water. Form the meatball mixture into rough 1 Tbsp portioned meatballs. Place on the plate.

   Preheat a large pan over medium heat. Add 1 Tbsp, each, oil and butter. When the butter has melted and stops bubbling, add a dozen or so meatballs. Fry on each side for 2-3 minutes. After 7-8 minutes the meatballs should be well browned and cooked through.

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Repeat with the remaining meatballs. Drain on paper towels.

For the Raspberry Cream Sauce:

1/2 cup chicken stock

1/4 cup cream

1/4 cup fresh raspberries

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp corn starch + 1 Tbsp chicken stock

   After frying the meatballs, add the chicken stock and cream. Stir together, scraping the bottom of the pan to incorporate the flavours left behind from the meatballs. Add the raspberries, salt and black pepper, coarsely mashing the berries with a spoon and stir into the sauce.

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Add the corn starch mixture and stir in. When the sauce returns to a simmer and begins to thicken, return the cooked meatballs to the sauce. Simmer for a further 5-7 minutes, folding the sauce gently over the meatballs. Set aside and keep warm.

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To assemble the sandwich:

Prepared Swedish Meatballs in Raspberry Cream Sauce

4 medium potatoes, thickly sliced and boiled until tender (about 10 minutes)

1 cup fresh raspberries

2 tsp black pepper

4 submarine roll sized Dinkelbröd (or any whole wheat submarine rolls about 15cm/6″ long)

   Split the buns in half. Mash about 2 Tbsp of raspberries on each cut half of bread. Sprinkle with a bit of black pepper over the berries. Layer some cooked potato slices on on side of the sandwich. Lay a half dozen or so meatballs on the potatoes and spoon a bit of sauce over them. Top with the other half of the bread. Serves 4-8 depending on how hungry everyone is.

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And once assembled with both sides of the bread, it’s not a delicate thing to eat. Mashed berries, gravy, meatballs and potatoes make for a precarious assembly….

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Dinkelbröd (Swedish Spelt Bread)

As I’ve mentioned in posts before, I’ve been enthralled with Swedish recipes lately. And as I go through summer doing a sandwich a day, I wanted to bake my own bread for part of it. Today was a perfect opportunity because it’s been a little rainy. And as I was perusing my “go to” site for Swedish recipes, I found a recipe for bread that uses spelt flour. It also calls for bread flour, a high protein flour that helps stretch the gluten and raise the dough higher. A local grain farmer grows a heritage variety of wheat called Park wheat along with other heritage and ancient wheat and grains. I sifted the Park wheat flour and used the bran left behind to dust the bottom of the baking sheet and over the top before it was baked.

This is my recipe based on swedishfood.com‘s version of Dinkelbröd, but I use locally grown and milled spelt and Park wheat flour, but feel free to use regular bread flour instead of Park wheat flour if you can’t find it.

Dinkelbröd (Swedish Spelt Bread)

300g/10 oz whole grain spelt flour

200g/7 oz Park wheat flour (or bread flour), sifted before weighing, reserve the bran left behind after sifting to dust the baking pan and risen loaf later)

2 tsp salt

2-1/4 tsp dry active yeast

325g warm water (about 1-1/4 cups)

1 Tbsp honey (or raw cane sugar)

   In a large bowl, combine the spelt and Park wheat flour. Make a depression in the centre of the flour mixture. Scatter the salt around the perimeter of the flour mixture. Add the water to the centre with the yeast and honey. Stir the yeast and honey into the water and allow to sit for 10 minutes to allow the yeast to bubble and froth.

   Gradually, stir the bubbly yeast into the flour mixture. As the mixture starts to become a sticky dough, dump it on the counter with the remaining flour mixture. Clean out the bowl and sprinkle with an extra tablespoon or two of flour. Knead the dough on the counter, ensuring all of the dry ingredients are incorporated into the sticky dough. The dough should be slightly sticky even as all of the flour is worked in. The kneading should take about 12-15 minutes. Form the dough into a ball and place in the floured bowl. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and allow to rise in a warm spot for about an hour until doubled in bulk.

   Preheat oven to 400F/200C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and sprinkle with half of the reserved bran.

   Press down some of the air from the risen dough. Divide the dough into 4 or 6 even sized pieces. Roll them each into a log shape. Place them on the prepared baking sheet, cover with a kitchen towel again and allow to rise for another 30-40 minutes. After the dough has risen again, slash the length of the bread with a sharp knife, sprinkle with the remaining bran and bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden. Makes 4 small loaves or 6 submarine sandwich style buns.

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Marjoram Sweet Pea and Egg Sandwich with Fresh Sambal Oelek

During another hot day yesterday afternoon, I was eating some of the fresh peas I had picked up at the farmer’s market this weekend. There’s nothing that matches that fresh pop of biting into a fresh pea. People can say what they want about frozen being as good as fresh. In certain situations, frozen peas can be useful, but that “pop” is gone if you tried to just eat a bowl of them as a snack.

This morning I woke up, did my Monday cardio and thankfully, a cooling shower had started. A few distant rumbles of thunder livened up my morning and I wanted a breakfast sandwich that gave me that “pop” experience with the peas that I’d enjoyed the day before.

I’ve been eating a lot of open-faced sandwiches lately, inspired by various countries in Europe. With some hardboiled eggs, I was somewhat influenced by the Swedish smörgäs. The sambal inspiration came partly from my love of spicy elements in hot weather, but also from my neighbourhood bakery. It’s run by a lovely Dutch family and they recommended having a baguette with Indonesian peanut sauce and sambal as the dipping sauces. I loved the idea and may play with that combination more in future sandwiches, but for today, my homemade sambal oelek as an accent to the sweet peas were just right after a reprieve in the hot weather.

Marjoram Sweet Pea and Egg Sandwich with Fresh Sambal Oelek:

For the Fresh Sambal Oelek:

5 long finger chillis, stems trimmed off and roughly chopped

2 Tbsp rice vinegar

1/2 tsp salt

   Place all of the ingredients in a food processor. Pulse a few times to get a chunky paste. Set aside.

For the Marjoram Sweet Pea Spread:

2/3 cup fresh peas (measured after shelling from the pods)

2 Tbsp fresh marjoram (or oregano or thyme if you’d rather)

1/4 cup cold pressed oil (I used camelina oil, but a good extra virgin olive oil would be okay)

2 spring onions, finely chopped

   Place the peas in a small pot of boiling water over medium high heat. Blanch for 2 minutes, just to soften slightly, but remaining largely “crisp.” Transfer the peas to ice water to cool.

   Add the peas, marjoram and oil to a food processor. Pulse a few times to just bring the spread together. It should still be quite chunky. Fold in the spring onions. Set aside.

For the sandwich:

4 slices rye bread, toasted if you like

Prepared Fresh Sambal Oelek

Prepared Marjoram Sweet Pea Spread

3 hardboiled eggs, peeled and thickly sliced

   Divide the Marjoram Sweet Pea Spread over the rye bread, spreading it thickly on each piece. Fan out some sliced hardboiled egg over one side of the bread. Add a dollop of Fresh Sambal Oelek and sprinkle with a bit of chopped spring onion. Serves 2-3.

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Rhubarb Riot Jam and Fresco Sandwich

Years ago, when my mum would come to visit, I always thought of what I’d make for her. Lunches and dinners were usually pretty easy, but breakfast she didn’t enjoy a lot of the usual things: cereal, eggs, pancakes, etc. At least she didn’t enjoy it regularly.

I knew she enjoyed cheese and especially chevre, so it was a summer day like today and I had a ton of fresh summer fruit. The most voluminous of summer fruit is always rhubarb. I started with a pile of rhubarb and filled the rest with an assortment or “riot” of other fruits.

Right now, the fruit “riot” is heavy on cherries and berries, but as the summer goes along, peaches, apples, pears or plums could be in the mix.

This is one of those easy jams that you may not can for later consumption, but it freezes well and having a fresh burst of summer fruit is always welcome on a hot day paired with your favourite spreadable cheese, like chevre when I came up with the recipe, or fresco, a sheep’s milk cream cheese, that I enjoy now.

Rhubarb Riot Jam and Fresco Sandwich

For the Rhubarb Riot Jam:

4 cups fresh rhubarb, chopped

4 cups your favourite summer fruits (like I mentioned, I used two kinds of cherries, blueberries and strawberries in no particular volume of each. Just enough to accumulate to 4 cups total)

3/4 cup water

   In a large pot, add the rhubarb, summer fruit and water. Bring to a simmer over medium high heat. Cover with a lid for five minutes to soften. Take off the heat, reduce heat to medium low and simmer for a further 40-45 minutes or so until the mixture is thickened. Set aside to cool.

For the sandwich:

4 slices whole wheat sandwich bread, toasted (crusts cut off if you’re feeling fancy)

100g/4 oz fresco cheese (or chevre or cream cheese)

1/2 cup Prepared Rhubarb Riot Jam

   Spread the fresco on the toasted bread and spread the jam thickly over the top. Serves 2-4 depending if it’s part of brunch or just a light breakfast.

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Pulled Pork Club Sandwich with Creamy Spiced Rhubarb Dressing

While I do a lot of cooking (read as 99.999999999999% of the time), the rare occasion that I buy food, I like to buy from others who are as passionate about food as I am. And in the summer heat, it’s nice to have a reprieve from the heat of the kitchen.

One such passionate person that I buy from specializes in Southern US-style BBQ: pulled pork, BBQ sauces, baked beans, etc. And while I do enjoy my recipe for slow cooker pulled pork (and incidentally, it’s by far my most popular blog post), like I said, it’s nice to have someone passionate to give me “real deal, low n slow” pulled pork. I mean really, look at this pic from his Facebook page

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I wanted to make a beast of a sandwich today with his gorgeous pulled pork. but feel free to use any pulled pork from your local passionate BBQ joint or give my slow cooker pulled pork recipe a whirl.

I’m also topping today’s sandwich with the best bacon I can buy. A local organic farmer who cures and smokes all of his bacon, sausages and ham without nitrates. Its flavour is untouchable and I don’t get those crazy nitrate headaches anymore. Plus the man is the kindest person you can meet. And a fellow Hungarian, so we also bond over Hungarian treats 🙂

Finally, a club sandwich, as far as I’m concerned, is a triple decker. From my pub kitchen days, layering meat and lettuce on one layer with bacon and tomato on the other is imperative. I see “club sandwiches” on a baguette or hoagie roll or kaiser bun or slider and I just wanna shout at these people “It’s not a club!!! Quit masquerading!!! Fraud!!!” but then get my wits together and think, “They’re trying their best. Just enjoy their sandwich and don’t make a fist or it’ll get bruise-y….”

But really, enjoy this monster club….then eat nothing but fruit and veggies for days after because you’ll have your dietary requirement for animal protein for a week!!

Ultimately, food is about joy. It’s okay to feast like a king from time to time!! 🙂

Pulled Pork Club Sandwich with Creamy Spiced Rhubarb Dressing:

For the Creamy Spiced Rhubarb Dressing:

1/2 tsp oil

1 tsp, each, coriander seeds and mustard seeds

1 clove garlic, peeled and minced

2 cups fresh rhubarb, chopped

1/4 cup raw cane sugar (or your favourite sweetener. Just don’t use the artificial stuff. That stuff will kill you)

1/4 cup rice vinegar

1/4 cup water

1/3 cup plain yogurt

   In a medium pot over medium high heat, add the oil, coriander and mustard seeds. Swirl the pan over the heat to toast the seeds and as they start to “pop” add the garlic, rhubarb, sugar, vinegar and water. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 12-15 minutes until the rhubarb is softened and most of the liquid component has reduced. Take off the heat, transfer to a bowl and cool completely.

   Stir the yogurt into the cooled rhubarb mixture and set aside.

For the Pulled Pork Club Sandwich with Creamy Spiced Rhubarb Dressing:

12 slices whole wheat sandwich bread, toasted

12 slices bacon, fried until crisp

450g/1 lb pulled pork

1/2 cup of your favourite BBQ sauce (I used the Liquid Gold variety from my friend at Big G Foods, but any good store bought or homemade BBQ sauce is great)

100g/4 oz leaf lettuce or butter lettuce

8 cocktail tomatoes or 4 medium tomatoes, thickly sliced

Prepared Creamy Spiced Rhubarb Dressing

   Add the pulled pork, BBQ sauce and 1/3 cup of water to a medium pot over medium high heat. Pull and stir the pulled pork to coat it in BBQ sauce. Simmer for a few minutes to allow the liquid component to reduce and thicken. Set aside and keep warm.

   Spread the Creamy Spiced Rhubarb Dressing over all of the toasted whole wheat sandwich bread. Divide the lettuce over 4 of the slices. Spoon over the heated, sauced pulled pork on top of the lettuce. Top with a dressed, toasted slice of bread. Add a few slices of tomatoes and three slices of bacon to each sandwich. Top with the remaining toasted bread with the dressed side down. Slice in quarters and serve like a Southern feast!! Serves 4 (maybe….it’s really damn good!!)

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Asparagus and Garlic Scape Grilled Cheese Sandwich

While summer usually heralds the end of asparagus season, buying it ultra fresh means that I can usually hoard a bunch or two of fresh asparagus for another week or so beyond the end of its season.

What’s also interesting about the rhythm of vegetable seasonality, the garlic scape (green shoots of the hard-neck variety of garlic), tend to show itself just as asparagus season ends. Visually they’re both long, green and of similar thickness, but garlic scapes have an extra swirly curl and bulbous nodule near the tip (and it’s really garlicky in flavour…duh 😉 ). Everything above the bulbous area isn’t edible, so it is trimmed away.

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Their similarities lend themselves to working together. A bridge to tie the green beauty of spring to the bold vibrancy of summer. And with a heat wave sinking in, a quick blanch of both sandwiched into a grilled cheese is just right today.

Asparagus and Garlic Scape Grilled Cheese Sandwich:

6 fresh asparagus spears, cut in half

2 fresh garlic scapes, cut into similar lengths to the asparagus halves (if possible but because of the curly nature of the scapes, you may have to cut it smaller and assemble accordingly in the sandwich)

4 slices whole wheat sandwich bread

1/4 cup softened butter

100g/4 oz gruyere cheese, thinly sliced

50g/2 oz pecorino cheese, grated

   In a small pot over medium high heat, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add the garlic scapes and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the asparagus with the garlic scapes and cook for a further 3-4 minutes until both are crisp tender. Remove from the boiling water and immediately immerse into ice water to stop the cooking process and maintain the vibrant green colour.

   Spread the whole wheat bread slices with the softened butter. Set aside.

   In a nonstick pan or griddle over medium heat, place a buttered piece of sandwich bread, buttered side down in the preheated pan. Cover with gruyere slices, grated pecorino, blanched and cooled asparagus and garlic scapes. Add another slice or two of gruyere cheese and top with another buttered slice of sandwich bread, buttered side up. Griddle for 4-5 minutes until deeply golden brown on one side.

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   Flip the sandwich and griddle for another 4-5 minutes until that side is deeply golden and the cheese is melted. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Serves 2.

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….Yes I just went into excruciating detail into how to make a grilled cheese sandwich. It was an exercise in simplicity. Thanks for reading along!! (But seriously, the garlicky asparagus thing is good, just eat a bowl of those blanched babies as a snack. So good!!)

Grilled Eggplant Parmesan Sandwich

As a heat wave starts here, I’m starting to plan my cooking accordingly. Roasting chicken thighs and hardboiling eggs early in the morning for future easy lunches. Grilling veggies for quick salads, sandwiches or pastas. Today I grilled eggplant, green onions and cocktail tomatoes because I had an idea in mind. A lighter version of eggplant parmesan. In a sandwich. Then I also thought after walking back from my neighbourhood bakery with various breads for the coming week’s sandwich adventures, “I could do the eggplant parmesan idea two ways: One in a demi-baguette. The other sandwiched between two flatbreads as a quesadilla. Both worked great and the dressing can be a spread or a dipping sauce so more 2-for-1 ideas within the same recipe. Enjoy!!

Grilled Eggplant Parmesan Sandwich:

For the Grilled Veggies:

3 spring onions, white part cut away from the green part (reserve green parts for dressing later)

1 medium eggplant (about 350g/12 oz), cut into 1 cm slices

3 cocktail tomatoes, halved

3 Tbsp oil

2 Tbsp fresh summer savoury or thyme

   On a large plate drizzle the oil and sprinkle with summer savoury. Blend with your fingers and spread the onions, eggplant and tomatoes over the herby oil. Grill on high (on an indoor grill) or medium high (on an outdoor grill) until deeply golden on both sides. The onions and tomatoes only take 3-4 minutes. The eggplant take 9-11 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain away the excess oil. Cut the eggplant into bite sized pieces. Cut the halved, grilled tomatoes into quarters. Set aside.

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For the Creamy Pesto Dressing:

2 Tbsp prepared pesto (homemade or store bought)

1/4 cup plain yogurt

Green parts from 3 green onions (from above)

   In a medium bowl, stir together the pesto, yogurt and green onions until smoothly combined. Set aside.

To assemble as a demi-baguette sandwich:

Prepared Grilled Veggies

3 Tbsp Prepared Creamy Pesto Dressing

2 cups fresh arugula

3 demi-baguette (or one regular baguette cut into thirds), split open, leaving one edge still connected

100g/4 oz gruyere cheese, thinly sliced

   Preheat the broiler on your oven to high.

   On a baking sheet, lay out the three demi-baguettes. Spread both cut sides of each baguette with the Creamy Pesto Dressing. Top with grilled eggplant, tomato and green onions. Top with slices of gruyere. Place under the preheated broiler for 4-5 minutes until the cheese is melted.

   While the cheese is melting under the broiler, toss the fresh arugula with the remaining Creamy Pesto Dressing.

   Take the sandwiches out from beneath the broiler, top with dressed arugula and serve. Serves 3.

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To assemble as a quesadilla:

Prepared Grilled Veggies

1/4 cup Creamy Pesto Dressing

6 flatbreads

150g/6 oz gruyere cheese, shredded

   Preheat a nonstick pan over medium heat. Lay one flatbread in the pan, sprinkle with grated gruyere to just cover the flatbread. Evenly spread one-third of the Grilled Veggies over the cheese. Allow to melt and toast the flatbread (about 4-5 minutes).

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Transfer to the counter. Add another flatbread to the pan, sprinkle with cheese and allow to melt. Top this flatbread over the one with the veggies. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Cut into wedges and serve with the Creamy Pesto Dressing as a dipping sauce. Serves 2-3 as a snack or appetizer.

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Super Summery Green Falafel Wrap

Today is St Jean-Baptiste Day in Québec. Québec feels like a second home to me since my mum moved there in the mid-90s.

The first time I went to Montreal, I was aimlessly taking in the scenery along Rue Ste-Catherine and happened upon a tiny shop selling falafel. I entered and found a small counter service area and a few tables to enjoy your food. The matriarch running the restaurant was the most passionate woman. She was eager to tell me about all of the toppings within the falafel wrap. The glowing, brightly coloured, beet-hued marinated turnips. The slightly exotic nature to their pickles and the variety of sides she offered with it.

Taboulleh with hints of mint and sumac. Hummus with drizzles of Lebanese olive oil and hints of paprika and more sumac. It was such an overwhelming culinary experience that its flavours will linger with me for the rest of my life.

To honour St Jean-Baptiste Day in Québec (ou Fête Nationale du Québec en français), I wanted to recreate that experience with the flavours of my home now. And think of that wonderful woman, thankful of the moments we shared and smile as I eat this falafel all these years later.

Super Summery Green Falafel Wrap

200g/7 oz dry chickpeas

4-6 green onions, finely chopped

1/4 cup fresh chives, finely chopped

2 Tbsp fresh summer savoury leaves or fresh thyme leaves

1 tsp salt

   Soak the chickpeas overnight in a large bowl covered with plenty of water. Or for a quicker soak method, cover the chickpeas with plenty of water in a large pot, bring to a boil, cover with a lid, reduce heat to low and simmer for five minutes. Take off the heat, keeping the lid on the pot and allow to soak for one hour. Drain, reserving 1-1/4 cups of the soaking water.

   In a blender, add the soaked chickpeas, chickpea water, green onions, chives, summer savoury and salt. Pulse and purée until nearly smooth. Transfer to a large bowl.

   Scoop out one tablespoon of the mixture and form into a small ball. Press into a patty and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining mixture. You can freeze these at this point and when they are frozen solid, you can transfer them to a freezer bag. Makes 24 bite-sized falafels.

To serve:

100 mL/4 oz asparagus pickles (or any of your favourite pickle)

50 mL/2 oz Quick Chilli Pickle (recipe below) (you could just use pickled banana peppers in a pinch, if you like)

100 mL/4 oz Garlic-Yogurt Sauce (recipe below)

8 Prepared Super Summer Green Falafels

4 cups loosely packed fresh arugula

8 radishes, thinly sliced

4 Red Fife Flour Flatbreads, or your favourite wrap or pita

For the Quick Chilli Pickle:

2 long red finger chillis, thinly sliced

1/4 cup rice vinegar

2 Tbsp honey

1/2 tsp salt

   In a medium bowl, combine the vinegar, honey and salt until smooth. Add the slices of chilli and allow to sit for 15-20 minutes. Set aside.

For the Garlic-Yogurt Sauce:

1/4 cup plain yogurt

3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

   In a small bowl, combine the yogurt and garlic. Set aside for at least 15 minutes for the flavours to blend.

To assemble:

   Preheat a nonstick pan over medium heat. Add 2 Tbsp oil and when the oil smoulders but not smokes, add the falafel and fry on each side for 4-5 minutes or until deeply golden. If you try to flip them too soon, the mixture is too soft and will mash against itself. With patience, the falafel will form a natural crust, holding it together. Fry on the other side for a further 4-5 minutes. Set aside on paper towels to drain.

   Add a handful of arugula to the bottom of each flatbread. Lay out the radish slices, Garlic-Yogurt Sauce, asparagus pickles and Quick Chilli Pickle over the arugula. Top with fried falafels. Serves 2-3.

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Curried Apricot Chicken and Radish Soft Tacos with Amaranth Chutney

As I read about the various sandwiches in cultures around the world, I thought, “Are there places to stretch the idea of the sandwich?”

The first one that came to mind were soft tacos because it encapsulates a filling like a sandwich. It can be held in one hand like a sandwich, so I’ve decided to include it in my Summer of Sandwiches series….plus, it’s my crazy party and I’ll soft taco it if I want to 😉

Curried Apricot Chicken and Radish Soft Tacos with Amaranth Chutney

For the Red Fife Flour Flatbreads:

3 cups red fife flour (or whole wheat flour)

1 Tbsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup plain yogurt

1 cup warm water.

   In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the yogurt and stir together with a fork, then your fingers to make a crumb-like texture. Add just over 3/4 cup of the water and stir to make a rough dough. If it remains far too dry, add another tablespoon or two of flour and turn out on to the counter. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes until smooth and no longer sticky. Divide the dough into 16 dough balls (to yield 15cm/6″ diameter flatbreads) and allow to rest on the counter for 20 minutes.

   Preheat a dry pan over medium heat. Roll out each ball of dough to a thickness of 5mm (1/4″). Griddle each rolled flatbread in the dry pan for 90 seconds to 2 minutes on each side, until speckled with gold flecks on each side. Repeat with remaining dough. Set aside.

For the Amaranth Chutney:

1/2 cup fresh rhubarb + 2 Tbsp water

150g/6 oz fresh amaranth leaves (or arugula or kale)

1/2 cup water

1 Tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and minced

1 fresh jalapeño (or other green chilli), seeds removed and chopped

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp honey

   In a small pot over medium heat, add the rhubarb and 2 Tbsp water. Bring to a simmer, cook down for 4-5 minutes until the rhubarb is completely softened. Mash with a fork until nearly smooth. Add the amaranth and 1/2 cup water. Cover and simmer for 5-7 minutes, or until the amaranth is wilted. Add the ginger, jalapeño, turmeric and honey. Stir and simmer for a further 3-4 minutes to bloom the fragrance of the ginger and turmeric.

   Transfer to a food processor and purée until nearly smooth. Set aside.

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For the Curried Apricot Chicken and Radishes:

4 fresh apricots, pitted and roughly chopped

2 tsp coriander seeds

2 tsp turmeric

1 tsp oil

10 fresh radishes, halved

1-1/2 cups leftover cooked chicken

2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

   In a blender, grind the coriander seeds until almost a powder. Add the apricots and turmeric. Purée until smooth.

   In a small pot over medium heat, add the oil. When the oil is smouldering, add the radishes and stir fry for a few minutes until lightly golden on all sides. Add the curried apricot purée along with the chicken to the pot. Stir together and add 1/3 cup water to loosen the sauce to fully coat all of the ingredients. Simmer for 7-10 minutes for the mixture to thicken.

To serve:

   Add a couple of leaves of lettuce on the bottom of a prepared Red Fife Flour Flatbread. Spoon over 3 Tbsp of prepared Curried Apricot Chicken and Radishes. Add a tablespoon or two of Amaranth Chutney and finish with a spoonful of yogurt. Serves 2-3 with leftover flatbreads and chutney.

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Lovage Pesto Egg and Squashed Strawberry Sandwich

While I’m not getting any younger, I’ve been hitting the gym a lot more lately. My metabolism is naturally rather high (I know, I know, I’m deeply sorry), so this means I’ve been making heartier breakfasts. I’ve also been making open-faced sandwiches for awhile as well, so it makes my little Summer of Sandwiches adventure a bit easier.

I’ve always been a fan of breakfast food. Brunch food. Whatever. If it has an egg involved. I’m in. That’s why when I was vegetarian for a good chunk of my twenties, I couldn’t go full vegan. Eggs and cheese are simply perfect nutrition. It’s a matter of finding passionate, caring farmers who treat their animals like pets (“Who’s a good, mother hen….yes you are!! Yes you are!!”)

Ok, I’ll stop talking to my invisible barnyard, leave my spooning time with Bessie til later and get to the sandwich. A super savoury pesto with the celery-like lovage was an idea that came to me when shopping the market last week. I get this herb along with many others from another farmer who has a great variety of herbs bursting at the market right now. Give it a little sweet, slightly tart first of the season strawberries and it’s a perfect combination! Enjoy!

Lovage Pesto Egg and Squashed Strawberry Sandwich

For the Lovage Pesto:

2 tsp flax seeds

1/4 cup cold pressed oil (I use a camelina oil, but a cold pressed/extra virgin olive oil would be great)

1/4 cup grated pecorino

1/2 cup packed fresh lovage leaves

   In a small dry pan over medium heat, add the flax seeds and toast for 2-3 minutes, swirling the pan over the heat occasionally. Remove from heat and transfer the toasted flax seeds to a blender or food processor. Add the oil, pecorino cheese and lovage. Purée for 30 seconds or so until mostly smooth. Set aside.

For the Lovage Pesto Egg and Squashed Strawberry Sandwich:

2 Tbsp Reserved Lovage Pesto

2 large eggs

1 tsp cold pressed oil + 1 tsp butter

10-12 fresh strawberries, stems trimmed off

1/4 tsp black pepper

2 slices Black Russian rye bread (or any rye bread)

   Toast the rye bread and set aside.

   In a medium bowl, mash the strawberries with a fork until broken down, but still chunky. Season with black pepper and set aside.

   Whisk together the eggs and pesto until smooth. Set aside.

   Preheat a nonstick pan over medium heat. Add the oil and butter. When the butter has melted and started to sizzle. Add the pesto eggs to the pan and start to shake and stir the eggs in the pan. As the eggs start to coagulate use a rubber spatula to fold the scrambling eggs over itself. Once the eggs are about 3/4 of the way cooked, turn off the heat entirely. Shake, stir and fold for another 15 seconds or so.

   Pull the pan off the heating element of your stove. Spread the squashed strawberries over the toasted rye bread. Divide the scrambled pesto eggs over the two slices of rye bread. Serves 2.

   Note: With any open-faced sandwich, feel free to add another slice of bread on top to make it a full sandwich. I’ve just been on an open-faced kick lately and to be honest, they are easier to take a pic of haha.

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