The other day I had wanted a sandwich but I didn’t want the usual turkey and Swiss. I also didn’t feel like taking a ride over to the deli so I thought why not try something a little different. What I ended up creating was a very tasty sandwich that took a little more time to prepare than the usual turkey and Swiss but it was well worth the wait.
- Fresh mozzarella
- Fresh basil
- Garlic (powder and fresh)
- Olive oil
- Hot Capicola
- Ciabatta Bread
- White Beans (Navy)
Preparing this sandwich is interesting because each of the ingredients were separately prepared. Although there seems to be a lot of steps, the longest item to prepare was the eggplant. After that was done, the rest was quick and easy. Here’s what I did:
- Thinly slice the eggplant and season it with salt pepper and garlic. Season both sides.
- In a hot pan with a little olive oil I seared both sides of the eggplant and put it on a dish to wait for the rest of the meal.
- Peeled and thinly slice the cucumber.
- Sprinkled fresh squeezed lemon on the cucumber and let it sit waiting for therest of the meal.
- Sliced it and waited for the rest of the meal
- I sliced the tomatoes a little thicker than I normally do. Usually I sliced tomatoes paper thin but this time I decided to slice it a bit thicker. Probably about an eighth of an inch or so. After I sliced them, I seasoned them with salt, pepper, garlic powder and a drizzle of olive oil. I then let it sit until the rest of the meal was ready.
- I took cooked navy beans (I try to keep cooked beans around for just such occasions – I stay away from canned beans) and tossed them in my very favorite kitchen gadget, the Magic Bullet. I added a little olive oil, fresh garlic (not too much), salt and pepper. I then gave them a spin in the Magic Bullet to create a paste. It sort of looked like Mayo, but a little darker and with a lot more flavor.
- Since the bread came as an unsliced loaf, I had to slice it. The trick is slicing it thick enough to actually have a sandwich, but thin enough so that the bread wasn’t the major part of the meal. Ciabatta bread has large yeast holes so if you slice it too thin, the food will fall right through.
- Placed the pairs of bread (top and bottom half of the sandwich) on the baking stone. On the bottom half of the bread I placed the hot capicola and then shoved it in a hot oven (oh about 450 to 500 degrees) for about 5 minutes. Just wanted to add some heat and a little texture to the bread.
Creating the Sandwiches
Here’s where the fun comes in. Because I wanted the bread to be warm when I served the sandwich, I did a little kitchen zooming. All in all, I prepared 4 sandwiches at one time. This is what I did:
- Took the bread out of the oven
- Placed the fresh mozzarella on top of the capicola
- On top of the mozzarella I placed the eggplant
- On top of the eggplant went the tomato with a drizzle of the olive oil
- The lemon cucumbers went on top of the tomatoes
- A bit of fresh basil was placed on top of the cucumber
- A thin layer of the bean paste was spread on the inside of the top layer of bread
- The top layer of bread was applied to the rest of the sandwich
Before my daughter ate her sandwich she was kind enough to take a few pictures (finally, I have pictures of something to show)