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Recession-Proof Recipes: The Saladwich

Confessional time: I love sandwiches. Truthfully, I'm rather sandwich crazy. This is probably a personality flaw on my part, but for some reason, everything tastes better when it's wrapped in some kind of starch.

J is generally the opposite. Bread is often too... you know, bready. Having been spoiled by homemade bread and Paris living, he's a bread nerd who'll just do without if he can't get something from the fine local bakers at Sullivan Street, Balthazar or, in a pinch, Le Pain Quotidien.

Now, I love a gorgeous loaf, but I'm not half so choosy. I mean, sometimes I really need a sandwich. If I always waited for the perfect loaf to roll into my fingers, I'd deprive myself of one of life's greatest pleasures.

It's a salad! It's a sandwich!

Enter the saladwich. This recipe provides not only an economical meal, but a problem-solver. J gets his salad, I get my sandwich, and we're both happy and well-fed. It's also a great meal for households in which someone's concerned about carb reduction or there's a split between veggies and meat-eaters.

Convertible Greek Saladwiches (serves 2)
1/2 hothouse cucumber, sliced thin
1/2 small red onion, sliced thin
1/3 cup cooked chickpeas
1-2 Tbsp fresh dill, chopped
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 head green leaf lettuce, washed and chopped/torn
1-2 whole wheat pitas, halved
Cooked chicken cutlets, tuna or leftover steak, sliced (optional)

Tahini Dressing
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 lemon, juiced
1 garlic clove
2 Tbsp tahini
6 oz plain yogurt
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1. Toss together the cucumber slices, onions, chickpeas, dill and tomatoes (as well as any meat, if desired) with the chopped or torn lettuce.
2. Blend the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, yogurt and tahini in a blender or food processor. Season to taste with the salt and pepper.
3. Dress the salad mix and serve to anyone who's eating the dish as a salad. Stuff 3/4 cup of the salad mix in the pita halves, drizzle with additional dressing, and serve in pita form to anyone who prefers a sandwich.

If you have extra dressing (and you should), save it for a future salad or use it for dipping raw vegetables. Mmm...
Bon appétit!

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5.07.2008

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