How to Make Garden Fresh Sandwiches
Celebrate the garden with sandwiches incorporating fresh herbs, cucumbers and perfectly hard-boiled eggs.
Image by Brian Woodcock
When dill, chives, tarragon, chervil and seedless cucumbers pair up with goat cheese and cream cheese, you know it's a party.
The only sandwich you can grow in the garden is the "compost sandwich," or layers of brush, soil, kitchen scraps, weeds, manure and water. Lovely, but not exactly the kind of thing you want to pair with a pickle and some potato chips.
So try these sandwiches instead, full of ingredients you can pull right out of the ground, off the vine or out of the coop.
Cucumber And Herbed Goat Cheese Tea Sandwiches
Fresh herbs make the difference between a bland bite and an unforgettable sandwich focused on flavor. "The combination of cucumber and cream cheese is a classic tea-sandwich filling. Here we've made it more flavorful with the addition of herbed goat cheese and fresh fines herbes, while keeping some of the cream cheese for spreadability," writes Anne Quatrano in her stylish Southern cookbook, Summerland. "Look for a creamy goat cheese rather than a crumbly one … it will spread better when combined with the cream cheese."
Makes 24 sandwiches
- 2 seedless cucumbers
- 1 cup fresh goat cheese
- 1 cup cream cheese, softened
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh chives
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh chervil
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1 loaf white bread
Scrub the outside of the cucumber, peel if the skin is thick, and thinly slice using a mandoline or sharp knife.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the goat cheese, cream cheese and herbs on low speed; season with salt and pepper.
Cut the bread into 24 slices of ¼-inch thickness. (Freezing the bread for about 15 minutes makes slicing easier.) Trim the crusts or leave them on, as you like. Cut the slices into rectangles 2 inches by 1 inch. You should have 48 rectangles.
To assemble each sandwich, spread a generous 1 tablespoon of the cheese mixture on a slice of bread. Top with 2 or 3 slices of cucumber and add a top slice of bread.
Egg Salad Sandwich
The Founding Farmers Cookbook calls this egg salad sandwich "a back-to-basics recipe. The eggs should be slightly warm when you chop them up. When you combine the components together, make sure you don't overmix them—you're not making concrete here." When in season, add "tomato slices for a flash of freshness."
- 1 dozen large eggs
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- ½ cup minced yellow onion
- ½ cup finely diced celery
- 2 tablespoons finely sliced fresh chives
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground white pepper
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 4 brioche sandwich buns, split in half
- 1 ripe medium tomato, cut into 4 equal slices
- ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 2 cups loosely packed baby arugula
Fill a medium pot with water and bring to a boil over high heat. With a slotted spoon or small strainer, gently lower the eggs into the water and cook for 12 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare an ice bath (half ice cubes and half cold water in a large bowl). When the eggs are done cooking, remove them from the hot water with a slotted spoon and place them in the ice bath to cool for a few minutes. When the eggs are cool to the touch, drain the water and peel the eggs. Chop the cooked eggs into ¼-inch pieces.
Mix together the mayonnaise, onion, celery, chives, 1 teaspoon of the salt and the white pepper in a medium bowl. Fold in the chopped eggs with a rubber spatula until just combined. Set aside. Butter each side of the sandwich buns and brown them gently on each side in a nonstick sauté pan or griddle pan over medium heat. Remove from the heat and place the bottom of each sandwich bun on 4 separate plates. Evenly distribute the egg salad among the bottom buns. Place a slice of tomato on top of each, then sprinkle the remaining 1 teaspoon salt and some freshly cracked black pepper evenly on each. Divide the arugula evenly on top of each tomato, then top each with the bun tops. Serve immediately.