Green Bean Sandwich

Green Bean Sandwich

Last month, my best friend and I stopped at Meat Cheese Bread for lunch and we each ordered a sandwich and then shared half of our sandwiches with each other. She had a pulled pork sandwich and I ordered a green bean sandwich, mainly out of curiosity. I mean, it sounded good, but I still wondered how green beans would fare as the star in a sandwich.

Extremely well. As good as her pulled pork sandwich was, it was still just a pulled pork sandwich. On the other hand, the green bean sandwich was a revelation. My budget does not run to dining out more than a few times a year, so if I wanted to have this delicious sandwich again, I would have to learn to make it myself.

Make Ahead

Bacon Jam

The first thing was learning to make bacon jam or relish. I read a dozen or more recipes, decided that I was not going to splurge on bourbon or maple syrup in order to save on sandwiches and came up with my own recipe without those ingredients. It may not be an exact replica, but it is delicious and it works. I could possibly add a bit more vinegar and be a little closer to the Meat Cheese Bread bacon relish since their version is not quite so thick. I am not too worried, though, because this sandwich turned out amazing and everything I hoped it would be.


I also made up some aioli in advance. I cheated and made it with mayonnaise. I peeled 6 cloves of garlic and smashed them with the side of a knife. I sprinkled salt on them and let them rest for five minutes, coming back to mince them into small pieces. I stirred the garlic into 1 cup of mayonnaise and added the the juice of half of a fresh lemon squeezed. I mixed it all together, added 2 tsps of olive oil and stirred it in and put it away in a plastic container with a good lid. It will keep just as well as plain mayonnaise and will be a good spread of sandwiches or tasty added to some potatoes.

There were no ciabatta rolls when I went to the grocery store, so I bought some large hard rolls instead. This sandwich requires a roll with substance, one that will hold up and not get soggy when the egg yolk runs into it. The rolls I used are WinCo’s specialty and very affordable at 19 cents each.

Finally read to make sandwiches, I started by button a pot of water on the stove to boil, I filled it quite deeply with water because it needed to cover the eggs when I boiled them. While the water was heating up, I turned the broiler on the oven.

I snapped the vine end off 12 green beans and sliced a roll in half. I placed the halves of the roll on the top rack in the oven facing up toward the broiler coils.

One thing I thought I could improve on was the texture of the green beans. I thought they were just a bit too crisp and not quite done. I wanted crisp and crunchy but I wanted the flavor to taste done, not raw. To do that, I decided to blanch the green beans first. To save on pots and pans and time, I blanched them in the water for the soft-boiled eggs.

I dropped the green beans in the boiling water and counted out 60 seconds. I could have watched the clock, but 60 seconds is just long enough to get distracted and overcook the green beans. I didn’t want them cooked, just heated through so they lost their rawness. I pulled them out with tongs and set them aside and put 2 eggs in the boiling water, checking the clock. They needed to boil exactly five minutes for a perfect soft boil.

While they were boiling, I removed the now perfectly toasted buns from the oven and put them on a plate. I spread some aioli and bacon jam on one side and shaved off a few slices of parmesan.

After five minutes, I removed the pot of water from the burner and poured out the water, running cold water in the pot to cool the eggs so I could peel them. Meanwhile, I did not turn off the burner, instead I turned my stovetop fan up on high and used my electric coils to “grill” the green beans. I placed them directly on the coils and used my tongs to turn them and remove them  once they had a nice char. This worked very well and the beans were nice and crispy but not the least bit raw.

I placed them on the other half of the roll, laying down a bed of green beans. Then I peeled and sliced the soft-boiled eggs. They were perfect which meant the yolks were a bit runny which meant it was messy but that’s okay. I don’t know how you neatly slice soft-boiled eggs.  Using the side of the knife, I picked them off the cutting board and placed them on top of the green beans. I put a few shavings of parmesan on top and added just a bit of salt and pepper to the eggs.

They are photographed open, but I put the two halves together and pushed down just a bit. The yolk kind of held everything together and the flavors blended perfectly. There was the sweet and savory vinegary bacon jam, the creamy garlicky aioli, the fresh crispy green beans and the creamy, lush soft-boiled eggs with just a hint of the nutty parmesan all with a good, solid bread to absorb everything and hold it all together.

It was not identical to the restaurant sandwich, but the minor differences made it even better.

Bacon Jam

Bacon Jam

  • 1.5 pounds of bacon ends and pieces
  • 2 yellow onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 4 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 1/2 tsp of cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp of cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp of fresh ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup of cold-brew coffee (strong coffee)
  • 1/4 cup of molasses
  • 2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar

Weigh out 1.5 pounds of bacon ends and pieces. You can use regular bacon, but it is more expensive. Cut into 1 inch chunks. Cook on low-medium (3 out of 10) heat until the fat is rendered and the bacon crisped. Remove the bacon and strain off the grease. I put it in a colander inside a bowl to rest while everything else cooked. Remove half the bacon grease from the frying pan.

In the remaining bacon grease, add yellow onions and cook until translucent. Then add brown sugar and cook for about 5 minutes until they onions get sticky.

Add the garlic, cayenne, cinnamon and nutmeg and the coffee and cook for a five minutes before adding the molasses. Bring to a boil, stirring while it heats up to a boil. Then lower the heat to medium and add the bacon, stir while cooking for about 35-40 minutes, so the bacon absorbs the flavors from the liquid and the moisture cooks away. Add the vinegar at the end. Then add salt and pepper to taste. I just added some pepper as the bacon provided plenty of saltiness.

Roast Pork with Cabbage Slaw Sandwich


I love sandwiches, but don’t buy bread that often. However, I got a few loaves of Dave’s Killer Bread Good Seed bread and having been trying it out. It is a sweet, moist bread filled with all sorts of seeds as you can see in the picture. Being on the sweet side makes it tricky, because you want to counter that sweetness. i have found the perfect sandwich to make with it though, using a sweet/sour cabbage slaw that has a tart brightness that balances perfectly.

I made a nice big batch of cabbage slaw, enough for a few lunches and several sandwiches. I cut up a small head of green cabbage in thin strips, leaving out the core. As I cut the cabbage, I lightly salted it and let it rest to release some of the liquid. About an hour later, I poured off the liquid and squeezed the cabbage. I diced one small red onion and added it to the cabbage. Then I made a dressing of 1/2 cup of rice wine vinegar and 2 TBSP of sugar. I adde some salt and pepper, stirred it up and poured it on the slaw. Then I sprinkled a teaspoon of celery seed on top, put a lid on it and gave it a good shake. Pro-tip: make sure that lid is nice and secure because even the slightest gap will send some of that vinegar heading directly for your eye. After it’s mixed up. Let it rest for a couple hours so the cabbage soaks up that sweet and sour vinegary yumminess.


I had roasted an pork roast coated in Earl Grey tea the day before and cut a few slices off the roast for the salad. I  took two slices of bread, spread some mayo on it, added a nice layer of cabbage slaw, a couple slices of the roast pork and topped with with the other slice of bread. Wow! The aromatic flavor of the pork and the sweet and sour slaw are a great combination, which I already knew. On the bread, though, it was really a revelation in how balancing flavors can enhance them. That bread was good before, but now it was excellent when it had that slaw as a foil to balance its sweetness.

Figgy Yogurt with Apple Slices

Fig Yogurt

I had three fresh figs that were at their outer limit. I knew I would have to remove most of the skins to be able to use them, so I decided to try making a fig yogurt. This is too easy for words and so delicious.

I scooped the flesh out of three very ripe fresh figs and put it in a small bowl. I added 1/2 cup of nonfat plain yogurt and stirred them together. Then I added the smallest dash of balsamic vinegar and stirred. It was delicious, but I was hungry and wanted to make a larger snack, so I peeled and sliced up a Pink Lady apple and put the slices in a bowl with the yogurt. It made a great dip/sauce for the apples.

I have always though blueberry yogurt was the ultimate yogurt flavor, but it might just be knocked down a peg by this fig yogurt. It was sweet and tart and that bit of vinegar really just brought out the fig flavor without adding vinegar tang, It was delicious and something I hope to make again and again.

Made one serving.

Grilled Egg Salad and Cream Cheese

Grilled Egg Salad with Cream Cheese

I love a grilled sandwich, especially on rye bread. Rye bread has such a rich, nutty taste and grilling only enhances that unique rye flavor. I buttered two slices of rye bread. I spread the butter as thinly as possible. I laid the two pieces of bread on a medium high griddle and toasted them on one side. While it the first side was toasting, I buttered the other side of the slices. I flipped them over when the first side was crisped and then grilled the other so they were both nice and crispy. I could have toasted the bread, but it would not have the same nutty flavor that gets brought out by grilling buttered bread.

Grilled egg salad

To make this sandwich filling, I chopped and mixed up 1 TBSP each of yellow onions, celery, red pepper, cucumber, 1/2 tsp of mustard, salt, pepper and just enough cream cheese to hold them together in a spread (about 1.5 TBSPs. This made a thick, creamy spread. I also sliced up two hard-boiled eggs. When the bread was grilled, I laid it on a plate, spread the cream cheese and veggies on one slice and laid some romaine and sliced hard boiled eggs on the other with a dash of salt and pepper.

To make good hard boiled eggs, put them in a cooking pot with about 1 inch of water over them. Bring them to a boil and remove from the heat, putting a lid on top to hold in the steam. Let them rest 6 to 11 minutes depending on how much you want them done. I like mine well done.

The crunchy bread and crispy celery with the creamy sauce, tender cucumber and eggs all mixed together in a wonderful blend of flavors and textures. Makes one serving.


Watermelon, Figs and Feta

Watermelon, Figs and Feta

There are no real measurements for this simple salad. Cut some watermelon into one inch chunks and wash and quarter some fresh figs. Toss them in a bowl, sprinkle a bit of salt. Add a tablespoon or two of feta depending on your preferences and drizzle a tiny bit of balsamic vinegar on it. You end up with a pretty and delicious salad. The feta adds just the right amount of tartness and creaminess. The balsamic vinegar cuts the sweetness. You can’t really taste the salt, but you can taste how it brings out the flavor of the fruit.

Makes one serving.

Sweet & Sour Cabbage Slaw with Roast Pork, Dried Apricots and Sesame Seeds

Cabbage, Roast Pork & Apricot Slaw

This is insanely delicious. When I was thinking about this salad, trying to decide what to add, I knew I want to balance sweet and sour. Pork really likes sweet and fruit and cabbage is the kindest, most generous salad ingredient there is. It will work with just about anything. It is the universal donor of the vegetable kingdom.

For this salad, i started with left over Earl Grey Roast Pork. I love this for salad because it adds a rich aromatic flavor – adding a depth to salads that regular roast pork does not have. However, I think a good roast with a flavorful dry rub like for barbecue would work, too.

  • 1/4 head of cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 6 oz of roast pork, thinly slice
  • 1/4 cup of yellow onions, diced
  • 8 dried apricots, thinly sliced
  • 2 TBSP of sesame seeds, toasted in a dry pan on medium heat.
  • 1/4 cup of rice vinegar
  • 1 TBSP of sugar
  • Salt and pepper

Mix together all the ingredients except vinegar and sugar, mix then separately and then add them to the salad. Add salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly and let rest in the fridge for half an hour before serving.

This has a bright tangy sweet and sour flavor, rich and bright. This made two servings.

Linguiça with Cauliflower, Kale and Grape Tomatoes

Linguiça with Cauliflower, Kale and Tomatoes

This was a delicious and hearty casserole that took very little effort and about 20 minutes to make. I sliced 1 piece of linguiça sausage (about 6 oz.) into 1/4 inch pieces. Then I chopped up 1/4 of a yellow onion. I tossed them together into a medium low sauté pan, since the linquiça has plenty of fat for the dish without any additional oil.

I then chopped up 2 cups of cauliflower and added the cauliflower, and some salt and pepper, to sauté for a bit. Meanwhile, I cleaned 5 pieces of kale, removing the stems. I rolled the kale up and sliced in ribbons and then did a quick chop cross-wise of the ribbons. This made about 4 cups of kale. Kale cooks down a lot, so when cooking you always want to add more than you think you want.  I added the kale, another bit of salt and pepper to the pan. While that cooked, I quartered grape tomatoes – until I had 1 cup of them. When the kale was about half done, I added 2 TBSP of red wine vinegar and the tomatoes and let cook for about 4 more minutes.

The vinegar is critical to elevating the flavors. It helps the flavors blend. The linguiça is spicy and adds rich flavor to the vegetables. This made 4 servings of delicious casserole.

Apples and Blackberries with Buckwheat Yogurt Sauce

Fruit Salad with Buckwheat Honey Yogurt

Gertrude Stein said “A rose is a rose is a rose.” Well, that is not true. There is a world of difference between a floribunda and an Empress Josephine and an American Beauty. The same is true of honey, not all honeys are alike. Buckwheat honey is distinctive, a monofloral honey, it is nothing like regular honey. It is closer to molasses, but more mellow and with a fuller, more rounded flavor. While I don’t have any honey in my cupboard, I do keep buckwheat honey for its delicious flavoring.

Today I added 2 tsps of buckwheat honey to 1/2 cup of plain nonfat yogurt. It takes a lot of patient stirring to get it fully blended, but it was worth it. What you get is almost like caramel sauce, but lighter and creamier, slightly less sweet and really much tastier and healthier as well. That’s just a bonus, the flavor is the reason you want to make it.

I cut up a Granny Smith Apple and quarter a cup of some humongous blackberries that I quartered and stirred them into the sauce, and served up in a bowl. It was delicious and made two servings, both of which I ate. So that made it a single serving anyway.

Cucumber Fruit Salad with Tarragon Yogurt Dressing


Cucumber kind of works with everything. There’s cucumber soup made with potatoes, cucumber and onions, cucumber and pork, cucumber and strawberries, cucumber and watermelon, on in this case nectarines and grapes. It has a mild, but fresh,  flavor that complements nearly any flavor and its juicy composition helps it absorb flavors well making it a medium for marrying disparate flavors together.

This was an experimental salad from start to finish. First I pulled a few leaves off a tarragon sprig and dipped them in plain low-fat yogurt to see if I liked yogurt and tarragon. Yum, yes I did. Well, that settled my approach for the dressing. I took one sprig, pulled the leaves and chopped them fine and added them to 3 TBSP of plain yogurt. I added just a sprinkle of salt because it will cut the bitter flavor that yogurt can sometimes have.

I peeled half of an English cucumber, cut it in quarters lengthwise and sliced away the seeds. I snacked on them, so they were  not wasted. I then chopped up the cucumber. I added one piece to the dressing to see if I liked it and I did, so I added the rest. Then I cut one nectarine into small chunks, testing one piece in a spoon with cucumber and dressing. Yum. I tossed in the rest of the nectarine. Next I took a spoonful of the salad in the making and put a red grape on the spoon with it and took another taste test and knew this was the perfect final touch. I tossed in about 1 cup of red seedless grapes, tossed all the ingredients together lightly and had a fresh, delicious salad for lunch.

There is something about grapes and tarragon. It tastes as though you are eating wine. That fresh sweetness of the nectarines and the juicy spring flavor of cucumbers and with creamy yogurt. It was so good I wanted seconds. However, I only made one serving.

Cucumber Fruit Salad with Yogurt Tarragon Dressing