Sunday, November 2, 2008

Provolone and Arugula Tartine

I'm not a big arugula-eater, but every so often I'm suddenly and mysteriously attracted by a sandwich or a pizza with arugula and today was one of those days when out of nowhere I decided that arugula would be the perfect thing for lunch.

It wasn't quite out of nowhere actually - what happened was that as I was wandering the stalls of the farmer's market, the rain, which had been fairly light, suddenly increased into quite a downpour (at least for California). Being without an umbrella, I decided to wait it out under the stall where I had just purchased a lovely bunch of carrots. While waiting, I started looking over all the vegetables again, and a bin of arugula caught my eye. It occurred to me that the arugula would probably go very well with the provolone I had sitting in my refrigerator, and so the idea for the tartine was born. I bought my arugula, the rain let up a bit, and I hurried home to try out my idea.

As it turned out, the arugula went wonderfully with the provolone, the spiciness of the cheese contrasting nicely with the slightly bitter arugula, with everything rounded out by the sweetest of the tomatoes. A lovely little lunch, and very very easy to make!

You will need:
Good bread. I am very picky about my bread and never ever buy anything pre-packaged, pre-sliced etc. I'll either bake my own or buy some fresh-baked by my two favorite local bakeries.
Several slices of provolone
A small bunch of arugula
4 or 5 smallish tomatoes or 2 or 3 larger ones

Slice the bread and cheese and lay the slices of cheese on the bread. Heat the bread and cheese, preferably in a toaster oven if you have one. I do not have one and attempted to heat the bread and cheese in a frying pan, which was OK except that it burnt the frying pan a bit. In retrospect, heating the bread on a foil-lined baking sheet in the oven would probably have been a better idea.

Wash and chop up the arugula and tomatoes. Place the arugula on top of the cheese, followed by the tomatoes. Eat up!

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