I don’t even know what to write anymore. You all must be sick and tired of hearing about my damned sandwiches. Don’t worry, this is it. We’ve moved into the realm of the salads, which I’ll be reporting on soon. But before I get to them, just let me say a few words – I promise! Only a few! – about these last few sandwiches. It’s worth it.
Bruschetta with Sauteed Peppers
Creamed Leeks on (Walnut) Toast
Writing about this, I want to eat it again. Right. Now. I had never really made creamed anything and this convinced me that it’s an excellent, if calorific, way to cook. But hey, I’m still eating vegetables, right? Here you just cook some leeks with butter, a little wine, a little cream and some parmesan. Heaven on a piece of toast. As well as a very simple and homey supper, this strikes me as something you could serve very easily as a dinner part canapé that would totally impress your guests.
There. That’s it. Recipes below. I promised, right?
From Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison
4 large bell peppers – red, yellow, and/or orange
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 small red onion, quartered and thinly sliced crosswise
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon tomato paste diluted with ¼ cup water
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, to taste
1 ½ tablespoons chopped marjoram or two tablespoons sliced basil leaves
Slice the peppers into wide or narrow strips as you prefer. Heat the oil in a wide skillet, add the onion, and sauté over high heat until translucent and beginning to colour around the edges, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and peppers and continue to cook, stirring every so often, until the peppers are singed on the edges, about 10 minutes. Add the diluted tomato paste, lower the heat to medium, and continue cooking until the peppers are soft, about 10 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper to taste, add the vinegar, and raise the heat to high. Cook, stirring frequently, until the peppers are glazed, then stir in the marjoram or basil.
To make the sandwich, toast some bread and rub half a clove of garlic on it. Cover the bread with grated fontina (or any kind, really) cheese. Put onto plates, spoon the peppers over top, and garnish with the basil.
Creamed Leeks on Toast
Deborah suggests using walnut bread here, which I’m sure would be delicious. I didn’t buy any just for this and it was still great.
4 small or 2 large leeks, trimmed and sliced into ¼-inch rounds
1 ½ tablespoons butter
Salt and pepper
1/3 cup dry white wine
½ cup half-and-half or crème fraiche
2 teaspoons chopped tarragon, parsley or rosemary
¼ cup grated parmesan, gruyere, or crumbled goat cheese
2 slices bread, toasted and lightly buttered
Wash the leeks well, but don’t dry them. Melt the butter in a wide skillet, add the leeks, and toss with a little salt. Add the wine, cover, and cook over medium heat until the leeks are tender, about 20 minutes. Add the cream and herbs and simmer until slightly thickened. Turn off the heat, stir in the cheese, then spoon the leeks over the toast. Add pepper and serve.