Mediterranean Layered Sandwich

This past weekend I had yet another enjoyable lunch at Winslow's Home.  My daughter and I had stopped for a few household items.  As usual, this  charming general store/cafe was packed with patrons and the food being served looked wonderful.  The Tarte Rustica caught my eye right off, so after shopping for a ticking striped ironing board cover, glass water jug for the fridge, a luggage scale and special salt, and after checking out the cookbook and journal section, we ordered lunch and nabbed our favorite table in the window.

The Tarte Rustica tasted every bit as good as it looked.  In between two wafer thin, crispy crusts was a layering of warm portabella mushrooms, spinach and roasted red peppers accented by a creamy tapenade.  It was so delicious I savored each bite, not really paying too much attention to how it was assembled.  It was only later when I thought about re-creating the dish that I regretted having devoured it without taking note.  I thought about the layers of flavors and textures and what came to mind was a sandwich version of this tarte Cindy created years ago for SimplyCooking®.  "Contrasting textures of crisp vegetables and creamy pesto dressing atop crusty French bread;" that's the Mediterranean Layered Sandwich.

With the warmer weather,  I'll be making this SimplyCooking® recipe frequently.  It can be made from just a few everyday ingredients.  Red onion, roasted red pepper, tomatoes, greens and mozzarella are layered between a horizontally sliced baguette.  On the base is a simple tapenade of olives, capers, basil, garlic and olive oil.  I make this in the morning, wrap the sandwiched baguette tightly in wrap and refrigerate all day until dinner.  We suggest serving the Mediterranean Layered Sandwich simply with greens or, if you have a few more minutes a Classic Greek Salad.

After Saturday, I'm ready again to start making this great warm weather sandwich and have abandoned the idea  re-creating Tarte Rustica.  Fussing with producing a wafer thin crust is not as appealing of an endeavor when the garden awaits.  Now my only regret is not having bought the women's working gloves I eyed hanging from fishing line above the table next to ours.  Perhaps another trip will soon be made.

mediterranean layered sandwich

1/4 cup dried basil
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup pitted black olives
1/4 cup capers, drained
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 baguette
8 oz. sliced mozzarella
1/2 large red onion, sliced
1 cup Romaine lettuce or spinach
6 oz. roasted red peppers, drained
3 tomatoes, sliced

Blend basil, oil, olives, capers and garlic in a food processor or blender until finely chopped.  Season with salt and pepper.  Slice the baguette in half horizontally.  Remove some of the interior bread on each half to make a thick shell.  Spread the dressing on each half.  Layer cheese, onions, greens, peppers and tomatoes on one of the halves.  Top with the second half.  Wrap tightly in plastic wrap until serving.