I saw this recipe back in the summer, and while you could make this bread anytime, something about the combination of rosemary and raisins got me thinking fall or winter. But really, this would make excellent ham sandwiches with leftover ham from Easter Dinner.
Yes, I’m already thinking about Easter dinner. I don’t celebrate Easter, per se, but I cook on Easter without a doubt. Easter bunny? Sure. Chocolate? Hell yea. Ham, au gratin potatoes, pineapple upside down cake (or maybe this cake from the late Everyday Food magazine) the whole shah-bang is going down in my kitchen. This year I’m thinking the Parker House rolls will be replaced by this bread, formed into sweet, soft pillows. Are ya with me?
This bread tastes just like those sweet Hawaiian rolls I used to buy all the time (before I started reading the back of the package). I was so pleased that these tasted just like an old store-bought favorite, but even better! This bread also tastes like it has butter in it, but it’s actually olive oil! And it only has one long rise, so it’s done a little faster then most yeasted breads. Can this bread file my taxes and cure cancer too? Maybe for an Easter miracle….
I think a good sandwich is really important. Making a truly good sandwich is a sort of a balancing act, and it’s not always as simple or straightforward as a good old PB&J.
It has to be structurally sound, so it doesn’t explode in your hands or all over your shirt. It needs to have the right amount of crunch, sour, sweet and salty. And it needs an element of cream or fat to keep you satisfied long after you eat it. Sandwiches can have two slices of bread, or they can be in a pocket. Pockets help with that whole explosion factor, and since I tend to get my food all over me, I need all the help I can get.
This sandwich uses homemade pitas. You can make the pitas days in advance, just store them in the fridge and slice them in half and open up the inside pockets as you are ready to use them. If you want, you could substitute any gluten free pita, bread or wrap.
Tomato harissa sauce ads a little sweet and tangy heat. It contrasts with the creamy (surprisingly vegan) filling.
The biggest challenge with creating this sandwich is the chopping, I’ll admit. But if you mix this all up on a Sunday afternoon, you’ll have enough for two peoples lunches for the week, so think of it as an investment in your future lunches. A julienne peeler can help with the carrots and parsnips. Julienne them then roughly chop the pieces and it’s almost faster then a food processor, or at least a lot less to clean up afterwards.
I also like to split the thick ends of the celery before chopping it all down the rib, it helps to make the pieces more even in size.
Soon, you’ll have a bowl full of chopped up goodness!
The beans are mashed and add to the smooth texture of this filling.
The other challenge might be filling the pita and spreading the sauce on the inside, but I’ve devised a little trick for you! When you open the pita up, use a spoon to spread the tomato harissa sauce all over the inside.
Then, take your piece of butter lettuce, roughly cut or folded in half to be the size of your pita half, and place it on your cutting board so that the natural shape of the lettuce curves up towards you. You want it to look like a little lettuce cup.
Spoon about a 1/4 cup to a 1/3 cup filling on top of the lettuce leaf, then with one hand hold the pocket open and with your other hand, slide the topped lettuce in to it. This ensures you have filling and lettuce all the way to the bottom of the pita and doesn’t smash the lettuce in the process.
Inspired by the Oh She Glows cookbook, by Angela Liddon.