I don't think it's a secret that I like to play with my food. When I have the time and energy, I love to take something ordinary and make it special. A little fancy. Maybe even fancy pants. Like these sandwiches.
I had some leftover smoked salmon and some gorgeous heirloom tomatoes in all sorts of colors. I also had some of that darkdark pumpernickel bread that smells like molasses (I love that stuff). I cut the bread in little rounds, spread some of them with cream cheese and others with goat cheese. Then I sliced the tomatoes, cut the smoked salmon in smaller rounds than the bread, and cut cucumber slices in still smaller rounds. After some artful assembly and herb toppings, I had some fancy pants sandwiches:
It's also fun to deconstruct a classic dish, taking it apart and putting it back together in a new way—like this appetiser version of insalata caprese:
Begin by cutting rounds from some hearty bread—I think it needs to be hearty so that it won't fall apart when it gets soaked with tomato juice. Then slice golf-ball sized tomatoes and your mozzarella. Cut shapes from the mozzarella (smaller than the tomatoes, natch) and assemble. Top with basil leaves. Or balsamic crème (thickened balsamic sauce). YUM!
Or, as a garnish, you can dispense with the bread and slice the side of the tomato off and cut it into a shape, then top it with mozzarella cut into the same shape, then top with basil and dot with balsamic crème:
Or you can dispense with the balsamic crème:
Anything that you can slice you can make fancier by cutting the slices with a cookie cutter (or aspic cutter, for smaller pieces). You can do this with potatoes:
Anyone who was a girl scout cut holes in bread and fried eggs in them. Why not use the same idea for salads? Or sandwiches? Or even side dishes! Go ahead—play with your food. You know you want to.
Note: I know I've been derelict for most of the summer. Between projects and visitors and travel, it's been exceptionally crazy. It's likely to continue for another month or so, then things should get back to normal around here. That means I'll have time to cook, and take photos, and post--and visit your blogs! Thanks for sticking around, if you have. If you haven't, then come back...