My new book, OPEN FACED: Single-Slice Sandwiches from Around the World, published by Gibbs Smith, is now available for pre-purchase on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Google. It will come out August 1, 2017, but I would so love it if you would pre-order a copy or two or three! It is hard cover with lots of luscious color photography, costs only $18.95 and has 65 simple yet sophisticated recipes for open-faced sandwiches from France, Italy, Spain, Scandinavia, Germany, Russian, Britain, Mexico and America. What a bargain! There is history, lore, interesting anecdotes, fantastic wine and spirit suggestions, and clever tips. So buy one book for yourself, and another for a friend; it makes a wonderful hostess or holiday gift. Whether you are a hardcore aficionado of tartines, bruschette, crostini, montaditos et al., or are new to the delicious world of sandwiches of the open-faced variety, I promise you that this will become an indispensible cookbook both for weekday meals and special occasions.
IN THE TEST KITCHEN
Bruschette of sautéed radicchio, speck and sautéed apples with lemon and thyme
All of the recipes for my book were tested in my home kitchen as many times as needed, then tested again by testers across America and Canada in their own kitchens. Here are some early pics of my recipes.
Mallorcan Tomato Toasts
Makes 4 toasts
4 large, thick slices country bread
4 juicy tomatoes (preferably vine ripened)
Extra virgin olive oil (preferably Spanish), for drizzling
½ cup chopped pitted oil-cured black olives
½ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
3 tablespoons rinsed and drained capers, minced
2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme leaves
Grill, broil or toast bread. Arrange toasts on a platter or individual plates. Using a very sharp or serrated knife, cut tomatoes into paper-thin slices. Discard core and end pieces. Arrange tomato slices from 1 tomato across surface of each toast, overlapping if necessary. Using a spatula, press tomato slices into toast to release juices into bread. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt. Mix olives, parsley, capers, and thyme in bowl. Divide mixture among toasts, spooning over tomatoes, and serve.
Instant Open-Faced Sandwiches Tip
In my book I have a page of tips for how to make instant open-faced sandwiches all year long. Here is a new one for summer: Get the best whole milk ricotta cheese you can find. Drain it if watery or weepy. Place it in a bowl and mix in some chopped bittersweet chocolate and chopped toasted nuts (almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans or even pine nuts). Bump up the flavor with a splash of vanilla or almond extract if you like, and sprinkle in some grated lemon or orange peel or ground cinnamon or grated nutmeg if that is your thing. Then grill, broil or toast up some thick slices of country bread and arrange them on a platter or set them on individual plates. Spread each piece with a generous layer of the ricotta mixture, then top with some slices of chopped seasonal fruit: peaches, nectarines, plums, apricots, figs and/or cherries. This rustic treat is perfect for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or a midmorning, mid-afternoon or midnight snack.
For more tips and for 65 delicious reasons to get yourself into the kitchen, check out my book!
I want to give you a preview of the fabulous recipes that are in my book. There are ones for omnivores as well as ones for vegetarians and vegans. Since it is summertime, I would like to present one that is seasonal and light, and dances across the palate as well as the page. It is a gift to my daughter, Clara Plestis, who is vegan. (P.S. If you would like to taste more of Mallorcan cuisine, please go to the recipe section of this site for three additional classic island recipes.)