January 20, 2009

Endive & Apple Salad with Warm Mushroom & Spinach Sandwiches

Last night's dinner of a simple salad and sandwich combination was inspired from an article I recently read in Gourmet magazine. With a few modifications, this quick and easy meal was one I will definitely be making again - perfect for ending a long day or for entertaining at the last second. Sandwiches are one of my most favorite foods anyway - making a warm sandwich makes it feel more special - more like dinner. I used a truffle mustard that I recently found in a specialty shop, which added a wonderful flavor, but may be hard to find. You could also use a truffle oil with the mushrooms if you have it. I also added cinnamon to the mushrooms mix - it was a terrific way to make this dish a bit more wintry and added a more complex flavor.

This isn't really a good meal to save as leftovers, but simple to prep ahead of time. Serves 4.

For the Sandwiches

4 ciabatta rolls, halved
whole grain mustard
horse radish sauce
8 oz fontina cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons olive oil
12 oz white mushrooms, sliced
3 garlic, pressed
5 oz baby spinach
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of salt
pepper to taste

For the Salad
3 heads endive, roughly chopped
1 cup dark greens (such as spinach), torn
1 medium apple, thinly sliced
1/4 cup walnuts, roughly chopped

For the Dressing

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon shallot, minced
1 teaspoon honey
1/4 cup olive oil

  • Make the sandwiches first. Saute mushrooms, shallots, garlic, and cinnamon in the olive oil until tender. add the spinach and saute until just wilted. remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Assemble sandwiches: horse radish, mustard, mushroom and spinach mix, cheese. Close and wrap tightly in foil. back 15-20 minutes at 400F.
  • While the sandwiches bake, make the salad. Whisk together all the ingredients listed for the dressing. Toss the dressing with the greens, apples, and nuts. Arrange on serving platter or plates. if you have extra cheese, you can sprinkle it on the salad.
  • when the salad is ready, pull the sandwiches out of the oven and unwrap them. Serve immediately.

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