Aunt  Suzy says . . . .

I’ve been on the lookout for summer sandwich ideas beyond the usual BLT and burgers on the grill.  Not that I don’t like those, but variety is the spice of life after all!  This sandwich was inspired by a recent NY Times “Recipes for Health” recipe.  I made a few adaptations – I thought this called out for a pita pocket vs. the english muffin specified in the recipe, for example.  The sandwich uses the bounty of summer so if it looks good to you, don’t wait till the season is over to make it!

Yield: Two sandwiches.

2 tomatoes

1/2 cucumber, peeled and sliced in half moons

1/2  red onion, cut in half-moons

1-2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

A squeeze of fresh lemon juice + plus 1/4 teaspoon white or red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

2 pita pockets, whole wheat recommended

Crumbled feta

Hummus, flavor of your choice

Slice one of the tomatoes and set the slices aside.  Dice the other tomato, removing seeds and extra juice.  In a small bowl, combine the diced tomato, cucumber, onion and mint.  Stir in the lemon juice, vinegar and olive oil.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Place the pita bread in foil and heat in a 350° F oven for about 5 minutes until warm.  Cut the pitas in half and open the pockets.  Spread the bottom of each half with the hummus.  Place a slice or two of tomato on top.   Top with the tomato mixture and then add the feta cheese.  Yum!


Aunt Suzy says

Another great no-cook recipe to beat the heat!  Salon.com has a recipe contest every week called Kitchen Challenge.  Two weeks ago the theme was “your tastiest raw tomato dishes” and this recipe was chosen as the best.  It caught my eye because it used many of my favorite ingredients all put into a sandwich – and it comes with a great story!   This is the second time we’ve made it – and we might make it again this summer as long as the tomatoes are so delicious.   This is one of those recipes that you can add or subtract the ingredients you use to your taste.  For example, we did not use the hard-boiled egg and we added sliced Hungarian peppers to give it a little zing.

I know that many people are growing and buying heirloom varieties (which I love), but I must say a classic red, round homegrown tomato will be the ticket for this recipe.  We served it with both a Spanish Rose wine (last time) and yesterday with a white Cotes du Rhone.

Sliced ripe tomato

2 hard-boiled eggs, sliced

Italian tuna packed in olive oil

Cooked cannellini beans

Green or black olives (or a combo), sliced in half

Thinly sliced red onion

Fresh mint and basil leaves

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

Crusty sourdough or ciabatta (rolls or loaf)

Slice the bread in half and toast to desired doneness.  Sprinkle each side with a little olive oil.  Put all or some of the ingredients on the bread in any order that you want.  Dig in!!

Here’s a pic of my sandwich using a sourdough roll from Trader Joe’s.

And below is a photo of Randy’s sandwich on ciabatta.  We agreed that we liked the ciabatta better, but both were good.