Thursday, July 17, 2014

Grilled Ham and Chèvre with Raspberries and Arugula

Leftover turkey sandwiches with cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving is what first introduced me to the idea of fruit and meat together in a sandwich. As soon as I discovered that delicious combination, no Thanksgiving was complete without it, but with my kid palate, I didn't give it much more though than that. Then I discovered the glorious Monte Cristo in high school, which just isn't complete without a smear of strawberry jam. Now I especially love apples and pears and on my grilled cheese, apricots with pork, and avocado with practically everything, so it should come as no surprise that I'm embracing all the wonderful local berries of the farmers' market on my sandwiches.

Although I put uncommon (some might say excessive) thought into almost everything I eat, I never ceased to be amazed by how a simple meal, like a sandwich and chips (kale, in the above picture), can really turn a day around when I'm feeling drained. Whether I'm mentally fatigued from stress or physically fatigued from manual labor, sitting down to a good meal can turn it all around, even if it's ready a few minutes later because I need to prep all the accouterments. And it's all the little touches here that make this sandwich special. The smoky ham and tangy goat cheese form the savory core, but the sweet-tart raspberries, peppery arugula, and creamy mayo mixture make them even better by hitting every kind of taste bud in each bite.

Grilled Ham and Chèvre with Raspberries and Arugula
serves 1

1/2 tablespoon light mayo
1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Splash of balsamic vinegar
2 slices whole grain bread
1/4 cup fresh raspberries
A few leaves of arugula (about 1/4 ounce)
2 to 3 ounces sliced smoked ham
1 ounce goat cheese, sliced or crumbled
Cooking spray

1. In a small bowl, combine mayo, mustard, and vinegar and mix thoroughly. Spread on one slice of the bread. Top with the raspberries, lightly smashing them to an almost jam-like consistency.

2. Place the arugula on the second slice of bread and top with the ham and cheese. Place the other slice of bread on top.

3. Preheat a pan over medium heat and spray with cooking spray. Place the sandwich in the pan and cook, flipping once halfway through, until bread is golden and ingredients are warmed through. Cut sandwich in half and serve promptly.

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