To enjoy the dog days of summer, I thought it would be nice to go on a picnic with some friends. Cold drinks, food, and a nice spot in the shade seemed like a good idea. I didn’t plan on making most of the food myself, but my secret wish came true. I don’t go on picnics very often, so if I was confined to one dish, I think I would’ve had an even harder time picking out what I wanted to bring. I mean, I thought about the picnic menu for days and ended up with almost two types of everything. It probably didn’t help that I went to Whole Foods without a definite plan or grocery list. My friend kept on telling me to get inspired by the seasonal ingredients, but I couldn’t! I’m just not experienced enough to know what I can do with what. Every time I get something, thinking I can make a certain dish, I end up having to run to the local deli in front of my house midway through a recipe because I don’t have fresh chives, tarragon, or heavy cream. Well, after more than an hour I finalized what I was going to make, and bought almost everything I needed. I did end up going to the deli once though.
The first sandwich I made is made with roasted tomatoes and onions with feta, black olives, and oregano. It was inspired by Martha Stewart’s amazing Tomato Hand Pies. I made them a couple of weeks ago for a potluck and everyone devoured them. I wanted to make them again but didn’t really want to be bothered by the Pate Brisee again. So I decided to make it into a sandwich! It was really incredible. The roasted tomatoes were sweet and savory while the soft onions really provided a depth to the flavor. The feta, olive, and oregano topping gave the sandwich a nice greek twist. I thought about using mozzarella instead of the feta and olive combination, but just decided to stay closer to the original recipe. Next time, I may lay a piece of mozzarella on the bottom of the sandwich because my bread did get soggy by the time I got to the picnic. But I think it was good, soggy bread and all. The juices were all soaked up in the crusty soar dough slice. If you have the time and patience, I really recommend making the hand pies, but if you want a faster and easier version, make this sandwich!
The picnic was for four to six people, so I made three roasted tomato sandwiches and sliced them in half so each person would get one half. You could definitely make this for two people and eat it as the main dish with some salad. That would be a very satisfying meal. In my next post I will tell you more about the rest of the picnic, including the second sandwich that brought back some old memories for me!
Roasted Tomato Sandwich
Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Tomato Hand Pies
Makes 2 to 3 sandwiches
3 medium tomatoes. sliced 1/4 inch thick crosswise
1 small onion, thinly sliced into rings
2 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, or 1/2 tablespoon fresh oregano, finely chopped
1/8 cup or 7 to 8 black olives, pitted and chopped
1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled
thick, rustic bread
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Place tomato and onion slices onto a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast for about 30 minutes or until the tomatoes have shriveled and onion slices are golden. Transfer to a bowl and let cool.
In a small bowl combine the oregano, olives, and feta cheese. Set aside.
On one slice of bread spread half or a third of the roasted tomatoes and onions. Then top with half or a third of the feta mixture. Top with a second slice of bread. Repeat until all the filling ingredients are used.
Slice in half to serve.