My butcher is my hero. I simply adore the guy. It’s the kind of love you can only have for someone who invents marinaded sausages wrapped in bacon and then shrugs when you point out your ever-growing love handles, casually saying you can stand to eat an extra sausage. Or two. I never stood a chance, but I’m a push-over anyway. Ask my son!
I went to the butcher shop downtown—right next to that cute cheese store I posted photos of—and picked up some meat to stock up my freezer. What was supposed to be an uneventful trip to the Farmer’s market turned into a wasp sting which I will spare you the details of here, and some brand new posting material. The wasp sting was nasty, the posting material wasn’t.
When I asked my butcher for Pastrami, he didn’t just give me freshly sliced pastrami that almost melts on your tongue, he also gave me a recipe that took it to such high levels one could not ever imagine pastrami to reach. I’ll be in his debt forever. And so will you be.
ciabatta (or other crusty white buns)
5 oz pastrami
5 oz ricotta
1/2 an onion
1 big tomato
* I’ve made 2 sandwiches with these ingredients.
It’s so 1970 to wrap a package in brown paper. At least here it is, not sure about other European countries or the US. I really like how retro this looks.
Fresh herbs are important for this recipe. I urge you, plead with you, beg you to at least try it with fresh herbs once. It’ll be a life changing experience! Go for a handful of finely minced chives and flat-leaf (or curly) parsley.
Ricotta. For those of you unfamiliar with it; ricotta is a soft, fresh and mildly sweet Italian cheese with a very low fat and salt content. If you can’t get your hands on ricotta, you can also use cream cheese in stead. Ricotta isn’t even really cheese, it’s more a byproduct that sells under that name.
I’ve used about 5 oz ricotta.
Add the minced parsley, the chives and season with a generous amount of pepper and salt.
Mix it all up and taste it to check the seasoning. Always taste what you’re doing or you’ll never develop that spare tire waist! It’s a food bloggers pride.
Thinly slice about 1/2 a small onion. As thin as you possibly can.
Peel and slice the cucumber.
And do the same with the tomato.
I know I’m a bit strange when it comes to vegetables, but look at it! It’s only iceberg lettuce, I know, but notice how the light falls through it? How wicked green and fresh it looks. Gorgeous. Thinly slice some of it.
Moment of silence for the pastrami, please.
I choose fresh, warm and crispy ciabattas for this, but use whatever bread makes you happy.
Layer the sandwich anyway you like. I started out with a thick layer of ricotta, then added the lettuce, tomato, onion, pastrami and topped it off with a few crunchy cucumber slices.
There are no words left to describe the amazing flavor of this sandwich, so I’m not even going to bother trying.
Kay’s Recipe Card
Click here for printable size.