Cover image for Nancy Silverton's sandwich book : the best sandwiches ever -- from Thursday nights at Campanile
Nancy Silverton's sandwich book : the best sandwiches ever -- from Thursday nights at Campanile
Silverton, Nancy.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : A.A. Knopf, [2002]

Physical Description:
xi, 238 pages : color illustrations ; 22 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Subject Term:
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
TX818 .S62 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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When Nancy Silverton began serving sandwiches one night a week at Campanile, her and husband Mark Peel's award-winning restaurant, she envisioned a laid-back and intimate evening when she'd be able to relax, chat with customers, and have some fun devising new and creative recipes. Well, she hasn't had much time to relax: Sandwich Night became one of Campanile's busiest nights, a vastly popular weekly tradition in Los Angeles and the place to be on Thursdays. And since then, sandwiches have become the latest craze to hit the American food scene.

The reason for Sandwich Night's success is easy to understand: the sandwiches are incredible. They're gourmet meals that happen to sit on bread, the furthest thing away from the boring old sandwiches that we usually content ourselves with. Instead of PB&J or tuna salad, how about Braised Artichokes, Ricotta, and Mint Pesto with Pine-Nut Currant Relish? Or Eggplant, Seared Tuna, and Ancho#65533;ade? Or even Bacon, Avocado, and Watercress? These open-faced sandwiches are innovative dishes that taste wonderful, look beautiful, and are perfect for entertaining.

The closed-faced sandwiches are delicious new takes on well-loved standards like the Croque Monsieur, the Monte Cristo, the Reuben, and, of course, everyone's favorite, the Classic Grilled Cheese. Also included are Nancy's creative sort-of sandwiches--Fondue the Swiss Way, Snackbreads, and Skewered Mozzarella--and tea sandwiches, wonderful creations that will banish memories of limp watercress and insipid egg salad forever. As if this isn't enough, there are the mouthwatering sandwich cakes and cookies, like the Open-Faced Berry Brioche Sandwich, Chocolate Cake Club Sandwich, and Almost Oreos.

There are recipes for some truly addictive bar snacks, like Cheese Fritters and Candied Spicy Walnuts, to serve before the meal. And there are also recipes for tantalizing spreads and condiments that go well beyond the ordinary. Finally, for the cook who wants to make everything from scratch, Nancy has included recipes for different breads, from Brioche to Hot Dog Buns, based on those from her world-famous La Brea Bakery.

Written in Nancy's charming, down-to-earth style, these recipes are versatile and easy to follow. As good to look at as they are to eat, these sandwiches offer a new, creative solution to entertaining and will be a valuable addition to the home cook's repertoire. The result: Sandwich Night is sure to be a hit in your home, too.

Author Notes

Nancy Silverton co-owns and operates Campanile restaurant and La Brea Bakery in Los Angeles. Her numerous accolades include awards from Bon Appetit, Chocolatier, Food & Wine, and the James Beard Foundation. Breads from the La Brea Bakery was nominated for Julia Child and James Beard cookbook awards.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Few aromas impart the comfort of walking into a house on a fall day like that of the scents of a stew that's been lazily simmering on the stove for hours. In Real Stew, Clifford Wright expands the notion of stews beyond customary red meat-based versions to include bouillabaisse, chowders, minestrone, chili, and more. Wright's tome covers a truly world-encompassing repertoire. He has Brazilian feijoada, Palestinian green bean and lamb stew, Croatian sausage and sauerkraut stew, Iranian fesenjan, Aruban goat stew, Mexican xonequi, and dozens more. Organized by the basic meat or fish of the stew, recipes are easy to follow and authentic without being inaccessible. There is a section of meatless stews for vegetarians. The book's comprehensiveness (bypassing only China and Japan) adds to its value. More common in American households than stews are their near relatives: casseroles. These, too, can be set in an oven and forgotten, freeing the cook for other duties. Barbara Jones' The Ultimate Casserole Cookbook doesn't immediately rush into common shortcuts such as adding a can of cream soup to meat. She calls for fresh ingredients such as white wine and sour cream in her mushroom-chicken stroganoff. But she does resort to canned soup when time is of the essence in an easy broccoli chicken bake. By spicing this hasty casserole with curry and adding steamed fresh broccoli, she adds flavor and texture missing in so many soup-based dishes. Cooks with little time and much responsibility for family dinners will find lots here to entice hungry mouths of all age groups. Opposite these books designed to get food on the table and appetites quickly satisfied lies the deeply caring Cary Neff's Conscious Cuisine. Neff thinks about every ingredient he puts on the plate. Not only must each item be high quality, it must meet the chef's exacting nutritional standards. Based on his experience in spa cookery, Neff strives for a menu of little fat, and every recipe inventories the dish's nutritional benefit. Although not exclusively vegetarian, Neff's cuisine uses meat sparingly and emphasizes fresh vegetables of the highest quality. A few examples of tofu and tempeh-based dishes appear, but they are only supplementary. His Dauphinoise potatoes achieve a semblance of the original's creaminess by using rice milk, almonds, and roasted garlic to sauce thin potato slices. Expert home cooks will enjoy the challenges here while they decrease their families' intake of saturated fats. Large-format photographs increase the foods' appeal. Colin Cowie understands the importance of setting in appreciating good cooking. In Dinner after Dark, Cowie designs whole menus and recommends table settings to enhance entertaining. The careful home cook can duplicate most of the foods, but few will have on hand the panoply of china, crystal, and silverware, let alone the designer furniture, to fully realize Cowie's lavish events. But the food is always the heart of the matter, and one can wow one's guests with many of Cowie's creations. His Portuguese menu of spicy chicken livers and peppery shrimp needs the sweetness of raisin-studded rice as a balance. As they contemplate these lovely comestibles, guests are prone to overimbibe the fizzy Portuguese wine cocktail Cowie offers as a beverage. A less rambunctious crowd might be attracted to his meat loaf, macaroni and cheese, and green bean dinner. Photographs illustrate the settings of some of the author's catering successes. Cowie's numerous television followers will create demand for this title. Ina Garten made her name as a premier supplier of prepared foods in Long Island's Hamptons' carryout Barefoot Contessa. Her latest cookbook continues the traditions of her earlier work. In Barefoot Contessa Family Style, Garten serves up dinners centered on homey comforts. Mashed turnips are made palatable to even the fussiest eater by topping them with crisply fried shallots. Squash gets enriched with brown sugar and plenty of butter. Basil, cheddar, and ricotta cheese enliven otherwise bland corn pudding. For a patriotic party, nothing surpasses the sentiment of Garten's flag cake, with its precise rows of red raspberries marching between stripes of whipped cream. Blueberries and more piped whipped cream create a field of stars. Who doesn't subsist on the sandwich? Whether made at home or purchased at a fast-food outlet, it's the quintessential American lunchtime repast. Nancy Silverton's Sandwich Book gives dozens of sophisticated and unusual ideas for sandwiches that transcend the ordinary. Silverton, owner of Los Angeles' La Brea Bakery, recognizes how important good bread is as the foundation of a sandwich. First come open-faced sandwiches ranging from simple grilled garlic bread to a festal combination of rare tuna, braised leeks, hard-boiled egg, and olives topped with garlic mayonnaise. She re-creates the retro Monte Cristo sandwich, a deep-fried version of French toast layered with ham and turkey. Silverton avoids prepared ingredients, preferring even to roast her own pork. For dessert, she invents "club sandwiches," triple layers of cake, filling, and frosting. Silverton's juxtapositions of ingredients should inspire readers to create their own unique sandwich medleys. Bread recipes include buttery brioche and classic hot dog buns.

Publisher's Weekly Review

Silverton instituted many of these lighter menu recipes at her Los Angeles eatery, Campanile, the 2001 winner of the James Beard Award for Best Restaurant. The baker and proprietor of La Brea Bakery, as well as co-owner of Campanile, collaborated with Teri Gelber on this collection. While Silverton offers new takes on such standards as the grilled cheese sandwich, she does satisfy those craving a less traditional and more innovative experience. Her open-faced sandwich combinations include Asparagus, Poached Egg, Prosciutto and Fontina Cheese; Bacon, Avocado and Watercress; and Piled-High Pork. Served closed face are the Monte Cristo; Fried Oyster Sandwich; and Ham, Creamed Spinach, and Stewed Leeks. Sandwich sweets (such as the Carrot Cake Club Sandwich or Blum's Sandwich Cake) and an assortment of tea sandwiches and finger foods round out the menu. Separate sections on spreads, condiments, and breads are accompanied by a list of suppliers. 41 full-color photos. (Oct. 16) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved



INTRODUCTION Several years ago, I was invited by my friend Rolando Beramendi to be a guest on a food junket in Tuscany. As he led our group from town to town, we walked, talked, slept, and breathed food, in addition, of course, to eating it. A lot of it. After a week of dining in premier Tuscan restaurants and tasting the region's artisanal products, I was ready to go home, vowing that I would never eat again. Our final stop on the tour was a small neighborhood crostini bar in Florence, Fuori Porta, where locals come in the evening to eat a simple meal of toasted bread with toppings, drink wines by the glass, and relax with their friends after work. As waiters passed by carrying platters of assorted sandwiches, my appetite quickly returned. Before I knew it, I too was drinking red wine and eating grilled bread rubbed with garlic and layered with prosciutto, arugula, and Parmesan, or with tuna, egg, and anchovies, and feeling very Italian. When I returned home to Los Angeles, I went through serious food cravings. Not for bistecca fiorentina, not for ribollita, not for gelati, but for that perfect meal at Fuori Porta; those open-faced sandwiches turned out to be the highlight of my trip. I couldn't stop thinking about them. Simply constructed with fresh ingredients, their flavor combinations were bold and unforgettable. It's not as if I had never seen a sandwich before, but as an adult, I had never been so excited about eating one. The only other time I was that obsessed with sandwiches was when I was 8 years old. My parents would take me to the Choo Choo Burger in the San Fernando Valley, where I always ordered the tuna sandwich. I could barely wait to grab it off the electric train (which circled the diner's countertop delivering the customers' orders) when it pulled to a stop in front of me. These days, however, I need more than just a gimmick and a bland tuna sandwich to satisfy me. Too often, American sandwiches are just a quick and easy meal that rarely transcend their generic coffee-shop incarnation. Served with a mayonnaisey potato or macaroni salad and a few sweet-pickle chips, those sandwiches are okay, but usually too predictable. Don't get me wrong: every now and then, I love an ordinary corned beef on rye or a classic turkey club. But it took a trip to Italy to make me realize once again that a sandwich could be something worthy of an obsession. And what an obsession it became! With no crostini bar in my neighborhood and no future junket to Italy on my calendar, how could I relive that Florentine experience? I could open a sandwich shop, but I already had one restaurant-Campanile, in Los Angeles-and I didn't want another. And so the only solution was to convert the bar at Campanile into my own Sandwich Night. I chose Thursday nights to serve a seasonal menu of open-faced and closed-faced sandwiches in the bar and on the surrounding patio. Like a weekly cocktail party, Sandwich Night rapidly became the place where Angelenos gathered for wine, conversation, and a fix of their current favorite sandwiches, like Croque Monsieur; Clam Sandwich with Parmesan Breadcrumbs; or Braised Artichokes, Ricotta, and Mint Pesto with Pine-Nut Currant Relish. Finally, the sandwich had a starring role in a fine-dining restaurant. It was comforting to know that so many others shared my enthusiasm. It wasn't long before customers were asking me for recipes so they could satisfy their cravings for my sandwiches more than one night a week. Whether because of childhood memories or the comfort of certain ingredients combined together, everyone likes sandwiches. When vegetables, cheese, and meats are piled on top of bread, they take on a less formal quality. Although many of the sandwiches in this book have all the components of a complete meal-a protein, a starch, and at least one vegetable-they lack the stuffiness of a sit-down dinner. Convivial and inviting, these sandwiches are something to nibble at, converse over, and share with your friends. Don't look at them as complicated sandwiches, but as satisfying entrées on bread. Aside from a simple green salad, nothing is needed to accompany them. Though some are more demanding to prepare and require extra steps and techniques, others come together with no cooking at all. For the more complex sandwiches, start making the components a day or two ahead. Cauliflower PurÃ(c)e with Browned Butter and Hazelnuts isn't a last-minute meal, but if you start a day before and have your components ready, assembling it takes no time at all. Others, such as the Classic Grilled Cheese or French Baguette with Butter and Prosciutto, call for only two or three ingredients and very little cooking at all, if any. If you're willing to venture beyond the basic construction of a sandwich (just slapping two pieces of bread together with filling in the middle), then this book will expand your horizons and teach you more than just sandwich making. You can learn how to braise beans in the oven, char rapini in a skillet, sauté fresh clams, and make mayonnaise from scratch. These are methods and recipes that you will use for the rest of your cooking life. Be creative and think outside of the "sandwich box." All of the sandwich components can be readily adapted to use in other recipes or served with other favorite dishes you make. Instead of mashed potatoes with your roast chicken, serve the cauliflower purÃ(c)e. Brandade without its sandwich counterparts, chickpeas and roast tomatoes, makes an unusual dip for a party. And long-cooked broccoli is so addictive, I love to eat it hot or cold, alone or as a side dish. These sandwiches come in all sizes and shapes and flavors: large or small, minimal or overstuffed, savory or sweet. From the simple combinations such as grilled bread brushed with pesto, to the traditional closed-faced Grilled Cheese and its variations, to the layered, meal-style sandwiches like the Piled-High Pork, there's enough variety for everyone in the chapters ahead. Add some sugar and a little chocolate to the sandwich concept, and you can bake your way into the "Sandwich Cakes and Cookies" chapter. If you're not as obsessed with sandwiches as I am, you'll find lots of non-sandwiches to try in the "Bar Snacks" or "Sort-Of Sandwiches" chapters. And if you spend a little extra time making the tea sandwiches, your guests will be dazzled from the first look to the last bite. Ingredients and Techniques As a working mother, I am fully aware of scheduling constraints in the kitchen, and for those with more ambition than time, substitutions can certainly be made. High-quality commercial jars of roasted peppers, tapenades, pestos, imported tuna, and marinated artichokes can be found in well-stocked supermarkets and delis. There are also many restaurants and chefs packaging and marketing their own homemade pantry products. Though I usually prefer to make my own, tailoring the seasonings to my liking, if I do buy the commercial counterpart, I read the ingredients on the label to assure myself of the integrity of the product, avoiding the ones that contain artificial flavorings, garlic powder, MSG, or other "unsavory" ingredients. With a few exceptions, all of the sandwiches call for a hearth-baked white or whole-wheat sourdough bread, both of which are available in most supermarkets or from your local bakery. For the home cook who insists on making everything from scratch, I've included a bread chapter that contains a few basic recipes that don't require the time-consuming sourdough-starter method. A few of the sandwiches call for a specialty bread such as a baguette, or walnut or olive bread, which are also available at neighborhood bakeries and most supermarkets. And, for the fanatic cook who wants to duplicate exactly what we do here at Campanile, you can always find more of my bread recipes in Nancy Silverton's Breads from the La Brea Bakery. The amounts of the toppings and fillings that the recipes yield are, unless otherwise noted, enough for four sandwiches made on slices of bread about 4 inches wide by 7 inches long. To achieve that size, buy a 2-pound round or oval loaf, have it sliced into 1/2-inch-thick slices, and use the wider, center slices for your sandwiches. If you decide to make your own bread, most of the sandwiches can be made on the Crusty White Loaf (see page 219). It yields a loaf with a smaller girth, so, to feed four and use up the amounts of toppings I call for in the sandwich recipe, you'll need to improvise. Cut the loaf into six slices for open-faced sandwiches and twelve slices for closed-faced sandwiches. Then cut the slices in half and give each person three halves. For grilling the bread, I prefer to use a home-style panini machine, a two-sided grill that resembles a waffle iron. The heavy metal grills apply pressure and heat to both sides of the bread or sandwich at once. There's no flipping necessary, and you don't need to exert any extra pressure on the sandwiches as they grill. Turn the panini machine to high and allow it to heat up for 5-10 minutes. For the open-faced sandwiches, spread a thin layer of softened butter on both sides of the bread. For the closed-faced sandwiches, be sure to choose two slices of bread that are a perfect fit when placed together and spread a thin layer of softened butter on the outer sides of the bread. If the sandwich is filled before grilling, assemble the ingredients and place the top slice of bread over them, aligning the slices of bread. Transfer the sandwiches or bread slices to the grill, placing them side by side without overcrowding them. (Most home-style panini grills have room for two sandwiches or two slices of bread.) Close the top grill and cook them for a few minutes, until the bread is lightly browned. This practical and easy-to-use machine is the fastest, most efficient method for making grilled sandwiches. If you don't own a panini grill, other techniques work fine. You can achieve the same effect with the coffee-shop method, using a heavy-bottomed pan or, better yet, a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet with some Clarified Butter (see page 201). For cooking the bread for open-faced sandwiches, simply brush a little of the clarified butter over both sides of each slice, and lightly brown each side in the pan. For the closed-faced sandwiches, place a tablespoon or so of the clarified butter in the skillet and cook the assembled sandwich over medium heat, covered with a lid. When the bottom side turns golden brown, flip the sandwich over and move it around so it absorbs some of the butter around the edge of the skillet, adding more butter if necessary. For grilling an open-faced sandwich on a charcoal or gas grill, brush the bread with olive oil and grill it for a few minutes on each side. When grilling a closed-faced sandwich, place a metal bowl over it to help the cheese-melting process. (At home, this technique probably isn't worth the trouble, but if you're picnicking or camping, a charcoal grill comes in handy for a quick and tasty outdoor meal.) And simplest of all, for any of the open-faced sandwiches, you can certainly just toast the bread in a good old-fashioned toaster. Now that you're privy to all of my secrets, you can have your own sandwich night at home. But I hope that doesn't mean that you won't take a Thursday night off and drop by Campanile, where I'll be standing over my panini grill behind the bar. By then, who knows? I may have come up with a few new sandwiches for you to try. OPEN-FACED SANDWICHES Whether it's a tartine under the Eiffel Tower in Paris, a montadito at a tapas bar in Spain, a crostone outside the city gates of Florence, or an open-faced sandwich on Thursday night at Campanile in Los Angeles, you're still eating the same thing: toasted bread with topping. Technically, these aren't really sandwiches. Layered and stacked on a crisp bread pedestal, they're more closely related to the canapÃ(c). But whereas canapÃ(c)s call for the precise placement and rigid composition of fussy ingredients, these free-form assemblages are put together with ease. Never dainty or shy, they are proud sandwiches with a friendly, in-your-face attitude. Concealing the toppings underneath a slice of bread would be a crime. Their artful layers of colorful patterns and rustic textures are part of what makes these open-faced sandwiches so irresistible. On one sandwich, hard-cooked eggs are quartered and nestled beside ruby-red tuna topped off with crispy strands of fried leeks. On another, rumpled slices of prosciutto provide a salty pillow for a soft poached egg to rest on. And savory chunks of bacon set the tempo for the olive-oil-braised beans and marinated greens on another open-faced sandwich. For most of my open-faced sandwiches, I use a hearth-baked white or whole-wheat sourdough bread. However, to add another flavor component to a couple of the sandwiches, I call for a specialty bread. For the goat-cheese and marinated-fennel sandwich, walnut bread provides a sweet and nutty addition. An earthy olive bread is a classic match for the rare-seared tuna, braised leeks, hard-cooked egg, and tapenade. But if you can't find these flavored breads and you don't have time to make them, you'll still create a satisfying sandwich by substituting a simple sourdough loaf. Keep in mind the beauty of imperfection when you are assembling and adding the toppings to these rustic-style sandwiches. Whether it's a smooth aïoli or salsa romesco, or a chunkier topping like long-cooked broccoli, the ingredients should never be uniformly spread to cover the entire piece of bread. Rather, spoon the ingredients unevenly over the slice, mounding them into shapely piles and leaving the crust exposed. For the sandwiches that don't need to be put in the oven, it's easier to assemble them directly on the plate that you're serving them on. As you build your sandwich, season as you go. A squeeze of fresh lemon juice over the fava-bean purée, a drizzling of olive oil over the watercress, or a pinch of salt over sliced mozzarella lends more flavor and depth to the entire sandwich. A spoonful of chopped herbs, a pinch of fleur de sel, a few grindings of fresh black pepper, or a shaving of cheese is the only crowning touch these open-faced sandwiches call for. For shaved cheese, choose a firm, assertive aged cheese. The recipes call for Parmigiano-Reggiano because it's excellent quality and readily available, but feel free to substitute for it other hard aged cheeses, such as Manchego, Grana Padano, Vermont's shepherd cheese, aged Gouda, Vela aged dry jack. To achieve wide paper-thin slices, start out with a sizable, uniform-sized chunk of cheese that lets you get a grip on it with one hand. (You won't use all of the wedge.) Using a semi-flexible paring knife, a vegetable peeler, or a cheese shaver, shave the cheese directly over the sandwiches. Excerpted from Nancy Silverton's Sandwich Book: The Best Sandwiches Ever--from Thursday Nights at Campanile by Nancy Silverton, Teri Gelber All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.