When I was on maternity leave with Easton, I fell in love with the Food Network and all things culinary. What is a nursing mother to do with a babe stuck to her breast? Yes, that’s right. Soak in the kitchen magic that others create and hope that one day you may be able to bake and frost a cupcake like Martha Stewart or to use EVOO willy nilly like Rachael Ray. Other favorite ladies were Giada De Laurentiis and Paula Deen.
My sweet friend Carissa (who also happens to be married to my cousin Joel) was the gracious hostess of a baby shower that was held after I had Easton. She served the most amazing little Italian Club Sandwiches, created by none other than my newfound friend Giada De Laurentiis. They have since become a staple in my arsenal of recipes. Thank you Carissa and Giada. I love you.
These flavorful sandwiches are wonderful for parties because you can make them ahead of time. We have served at baptisms, birthday parties, baby and bridal showers. I have also made them countless times on a Sunday evening so that we could have them in our lunch during the week.
Look at this beautiful focaccia…
The focaccia works really well because it provides excellent flavor and texture. I have substituted ciabatta bread for the focaccia bread. The single little ciabatta rolls are excellent and you can find them in multi-grain for a healthy bonus. I slice them in half and toast on the griddle just like I do with the focaccia. Another tweak I have made is to omit the egg crepe. Just because. Because sometimes I’m lazy and don’t feel like making crepes. Because I am a mom to two little ones and time doesn’t always permit. I’m about easy, simple and quick. You could even buy the pre-cooked bacon to make things really easy. I prefer to use turkey bacon because I like to make healthy adjustments whenever I can. If you choose not to use the crepes, you cut down the ingredient list to five. Five is do-able. Five is perfect. Five is ‘Yes, please! I like that!’.
For me, the star of the sandwich is the pesto in all its basil and nutty garlic glory. We have also used sun-dried tomato spread in place of the pesto. This sandwich provides a basis for endless possibilities that you can adjust to your preference. Hello pesto! I’ve missed you.
They taste great with some kettle chips and a pickle. Mmm-hmmm…Fancy. Impressive. Delicious.
If the time is right, you could add a beer to the mix while you sit out on your deck and enjoy the weather.
Easy to follow. Make the sandwich. Share the sandwich with loved ones. Add beer. Eat the sandwich.