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Lunch for the little gourmet • Brooklyn Paper

Lunch for the little gourmet

Packed full of lunch: Baker Shanti Church at the Williamsburg sandwich shop Saltie gives you a reason to eat your kids’ lunch.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

Everyone’s a foodie these days, even your kids.

So don’t settle for another peanut butter and jelly on soggy white bread — and grab a focaccia at the nearest bakery and some prime cold cuts at the deli, because master sandwich crafters from Williamsburg’s Saltie sandwich shop are going to help you out.

Caroline Fidanza, Elizabeth Schula, and Rebecca Collerton, came up with three recipes, including one for a delicious olive spread, so you can construct your own back-to-school sandwich sure to please any young eater.

But these lunches are so good you might want to make an extra one — to take to grown-up school!

The Famous Bun

1 sandwich-sized piece of focaccia

2 tablespoons mayonnaise, preferably homemade

1 dill pickle, sliced lengthwise

2 thick slices sharp cheddar cheese

2 large leaves romaine or leaf lettuce

1 or 2 slices red onion

1 or 2 slices ripe tomato

Cut the bread in half horizontally and spread both cut sides with the mayonnaise. Arrange the pickle on the bottom half of the bread on top of the mayo and then stack on the cheddar, lettuce leaves, red onion, and tomato. Place the top slice of bread and press lightly to help the sandwich hold together.

The Little Chef

For this sandwich, you can have satisfaction of knowing you’ve done olive paste — and probably done it better than store-brought. It’s extremely simple — nothing but olives and oil. Make a large batch and leave it in the refrigerator for later, making sure to cover the top with olive oil to prevent mold or spoilage. The recipe here makes enough for about eight sandwiches. It will last, tightly covered in the refrigerator, for up to a month.

GREEN OLIVE SPREAD

1 cup pitted picholine olives

Extra-virgin olive oil as needed

THE SANDWICH

1 sandwich-sized piece of focaccia

2 tablespoons green olive spread

3 thin slices mortadella (try Fra’ Mani)

3 thin slices young pecorino toscano, preferably 30-day aged

6 leaves fresh parsley or basil

Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling

To make the olive spread, put the olives in a food processor or a mortar. Process or pound with a pestle until the olives start to break down into small crumbly pieces. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to loosen the mixture, then continue to process or pound, adding olive oil as necessary, until a smooth paste forms.

Cut the bread in half horizontally and spread a generous layer of the olive spread evenly on the cut side of the bottom half. Fold each slice of the mortadella in half and layer on top of the olive spread. The folks at Saltie use a Fra’ Mani product called “Little Ham,” for their mortadella, made by Paul Bertolli. It has a balance of sweet, salty, and smoky. Lay the cheese on top of the sausage to cover, folding as needed to fit. Arrange the herb leaves on top of the cheese and drizzle everything with a little olive oil. Replace the top of the bread and press lightly to help hold the sandwich together.

The Gam

1 sandwich-sized piece of focaccia

2 tablespoons herb butter

4 thin slices Fra’ Mani ham

3 thin slices gruyère cheese

3 slices pickled green tomato

Cut the bread in half horizontally and spread both cut sides with the herb butter. Layer the ham, cheese, and pickles on the bottom half of the bread, in that order. Replace the top of the bread and press lightly to help hold the sandwich together.

Sandwiches at Saltie [378 Metropolitan Ave. (718) 387–4777, www.saltieny.com] 10 am–6 pm daily.

Will Levitt is a NYC based food writer. He is founder of the blog Dorm Room Dinner and contributes to The Huffington Post, Serious Eats, edible Nutmeg Magazine, and more. Follow him @dormroomdinner.

Pickle sandwich: Serve your kid a lunch worthy of those budding taste buds, and make a “Famous Bun,” a vegetarian meal full of flavor.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

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