Sunday, February 24, 2013

Of sandwiches, picnics and Enid Blyton...

Have been overdosing on Enid Blyton lately, in company with Chubbocks, who also loves the Five Findouters ( on a separate note, how great is it when your kid shares your fictional tastes, eh?). And honestly, it’s impossible to read anything by Enid Blyton without wanting a good snack alongside, especially the kind of stuff she mentions and manages to make sound intriguing, even though if you decode it rationally, you realize it’s not really ambrosia she means. Sandwiches. Buttered toasts. Tomatoes. Lettuce. Hardboiled eggs. Potatoes in their jackets. Lemonade. Seriously, I don’t know how she does it, but I’m drooling halfway through anything by her.

And longing for a picnic, of course, since her adventurous characters are always going off on little trips and having picnics. Now, you can’t have a good picnic without sandwiches, in my opinion. You can have a grown-up picnic with cheese, a baguette, some grapes and a bottle of wine, but that’s too sanitized for a Blyton mood – for that you need some really good sandwiches and cake. The trouble is that I find most sandwiches boring, dull and dry. They don’t seem to have that quality of being luxuriously delicious, and yet convenient – convenience seems to trump gourmandizing every time. So this weekend for the kids and my picnic in the park, I had to improvise and come up with my own sandwich ideas – and they were truly delicious. I’ve finally got a repertoire of sandwiches which taste fab and live up to my Enid Blyton dreams J.

Our picnic menu yesterday: Santorini tomato salad, green salad with figs as described below, multigrain bread, pita bread, homemade hummus, chholia kebabs ( substituting for falafel), lettuce, grapes and strawberries.
1.       Openfaced sandwich with salad:
Spread a layer of dhania chutney on the bread. Top with a slice of cheddar cheese, ideally, not processed cheese. Add the salad just before eating, else it will sog through!! Salad – two kinds of lettuce including lollo rosso, cherry tomatoes sliced in half, sliced scallions walnuts and fresh figs in a dressing of olive oil, honey, lime juice, salt and pepper.

2.       Openface sandwich with Santorini tomato salad
Spread either the dhania-peanut chutney or Boursin garlic and herbs cheese on the bread. Top with cheese if using chutney, else skip it. Layer on the Santorini tomato salad just before serving.

3.       Sandwich with paneer-yogurt dip, tomato and cucumber slices
Self explanatory – spread a thick layer of the dip, top with tomato and/ or cucumber slices and top with another slice of bread.

4.       Sandwich with guacamole
Self explanatory again – thick layer of guacamole, and if you really want, some sliced tomatoes on top

5.       Middle east inspired
Thick layer of hummus, topped with salad, falafel or tomatoes, scallions, cucumber

6.       The dessert sandwich
Thick layer of Nutella, then thinly sliced bananas and if you want to be self-indulgent, chopped toasted hazelnuts, roast almond bits…

PS. I use multigrain bread
PS2. These should be assembled just before eating as the dips etc can sog the bread if left too long.


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