By 300 Sandwiches
Easter brought back memories of childhood fun for E and I. E’s mom used to hide candy eggs around the house for him and his brother. “I ate a whole bunch of those little chocolate eggs,” E says. Then they’d have a nice breakfast—scrambled eggs, sausage patties and links. My mother used to get me a stuffed animal or a basket of candy every year, and place a few plastic eggs around the house for a mini scavenger hunt. One year when I was a teenager, and I thought I’d outgrown the whole toys thing, she gave me a four foot tall, pink fluffy bunny that came up to my chest. I think she still has that bunny in her spare bedroom.
I wonder if I should get E a stuffed animal for Easter.
“You want it to end up on the roof?” he replied.
For a Easter inspired sandwich, lamb with warm spring greens would do the trick. I met E at Foragers after work, and we filled up our grocery basket. Of course, we got into an argument about which greens we were going to put on the sandwich.
“I say kale,” I offered, knowing full well it’s on his forbidden foods list.
“That’s gross,” he said. “What about celery?”
“That’s not a green.”
“Not green enough! We need a leafy green for the sandwich, or at least a salad.”
E turned up his nose selection of mustard and collard greens, spinach, and salad greens. Then he found something appealing—and brown. “What about celery root?”
Because he doesn’t like greens, we rarely have salads with our meals. He’ll assemble lentils on a bed of arugula, but there will be about three sprigs of green on the plate with a heaping spoonful of lentils. I find that I eat fewer leafy green vegetables because he doesn’t like them. But tonight, I wanted a salad, and I wanted a deep, forest green looking salad, not a clear translucent accidentally green one. I picked up the kale anyway, and some grapefruit to make a delicious salad with pine nuts and that delicious parmesan, asiago, and fontina shredded three cheese mix I had at home.
It coupled very nicely with the Mediterranean-inspired lamb dinner sandwich. The tomatoes really sweetened up the meat, and the cucumber yogurt sauce gave the sandwich a nice tang. My salad was a-MAY-zing.! E had some sad-looking store bought tabbouleh instead. Nah nah nah nah nah nah!
Maybe I’ll go out and get some of those small chocolate eggs to hide around the house this weekend. I’ll hide a few in that ubiquitous white robe of his.
1 pound lamb shoulder
2 3 x 4 squares of foccacia, sliced into two pieces
equal parts salt, pepper and herbs de provence, to season
20 thin slices of cucumber (use a mandolin)
1 cup Greek yogurt
1/4 cup finely chopped cucumber
1 tablespoon chopped dill
1/2 tablespoon chopped mint
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
juice of one lemon wedge
salt and pepper to taste
2 medium sized tomatoes
3 tablespoons olive oil
mix of salt, black pepper, cayenne and herbs de provence, to taste
Roast tomatoes: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. First, skin tomatoes by dunking tomatoes in hot water in a small saucepan over the stove for a few seconds, then shock tomatoes in cold water. Peel, then slice in half. Season with salt, pepper, herbs de provence and cayenne, and drizzle generous amount of olive oil on top. Cook for about 40 minutes or until well browned.
Lamb: season lamb with salt, pepper and herbs de provence. In a large skillet , brown the meat for 2-3 minutes, turning so that all sides are browned. Remove from heat and pop into the oven to cook for about 30 minutes.
While meat is cooking, make yogurt sauce. Combine 1 cup Greek yogurt, cucumber, lemon juice, mint, dill and cucumber into small bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Slowly add cayenne to taste.
Toast focaccia. Remove meat from oven and let rest. Remove tomatoes from oven. Carve into small pieces to fit on sandwich. Assemble sandwiches by smoothing on yogurt sauce, then layering on slices of cucumber. Next layer on meat, then carefully place a tomato on top, which will break apart and spread across the sandwich. Top with other side of bread and serve.
Makes two sandwiches.