One question I ask myself often these days is what can I make into sandwiches. I must have entered a non-intellectual phase of life. Buy hey, at least I get to eat well on the go! Grated carrot salad is a French cafe staple and I make it often enough, even in a previous French Fridays with Dorie post. It is the feature recipe this week so it’s only appropriate that I give it more creative considerations. Obviously I can jazz up the salad with unusual add-ins outside of the suggested raisins, walnuts, and parsley. Or I can toss it in a signature secret vinaigrette. I did neither. I made the salad as written and took it from there.
I love the combination of carrot and caraway. That magical pairing came together in Dan Lepard’s black bread which I made a while ago. It was unforgettable. When the thought of turning the humble grated carrot salad into sandwich entered my mind, I reached for a loaf of caraway-scented pumpernickel bread. The question remained: how to pack the loose bits of carrots into a sandwich sensibly?
The answer stared right back at me from the dairy case. Good ol’ cream cheese, that was the key. I mixed in equal parts softened cream cheese with carrot salad and ended up with a luxurious sandwich spread. It begged to be united with pumpernickel bread so I granted its wish.
The tangy and rich cream cheese carrot spread tastes great in its own right but in the context of a sandwich, something was amiss. It needed a salty highlight which I found in paper thin slices of speck (smoked prosciutto). Speck is one of my favourite sandwich meats and it deserves more recognition! With our infatuation with all things smoked, it’s about time speck becomes more widely available.
I served my Carrot & Speck Pumpernickel Sandwich with a small bowl of carrot salad on the side so I could enjoy the same dish twice in very different guises. As much as I love the refreshing salad (almost like a quick pickle), the sandwich left much deeper impression. It took a simple salad and turned into a portable meal with elements of creamy, salty, spicy, and sweet. Not to mention quite handsome too with the striking contrast of dark versus light. Wouldn’t it be a hoot if I somehow manage to refashion the salad into dessert too?
If you would like to check out the grated carrot salad made by other French Fridays with Dorie bloggers, follow this link. I wonder what else can I make into a sandwich next?