By Alaina Sullivan
Recipes from Mark Bittman's Kitchen Express
1) Kale + Prosciutto + Goat Cheese -- Crunchy, leafy, chewy and creamy -- the range of textures makes each bite interesting, with the optional roasted red peppers adding a welcome touch of sweetness.
Kale and Prosciutto Sandwich
Roll four leaves of kale and slice them into half-inch ribbons. Cook in olive oil until wilted and softened; season with fresh lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Toast slices of sourdough or other good-quality bread; spread the toasts with goat cheese and a heaping spoonful of kale; top with a slice of prosciutto.
2) Tuna + Fennel + Tarragon -- Fennel is a refreshing, crunchy accompaniment to the tuna (as opposed to the standard celery,) while tangy yogurt laced with tarragon provides the requisite creaminess.
Tuna Sandwich with Fennel and Tarragon
Dice a bulb of fennel and a shallot or red onion. In a bowl, mix together about half a cup of plain yogurt, the fennel, the shallot, a drained can of tuna packed in oil, a teaspoon of chopped fresh tarragon, salt, and pepper. Serve in pita pockets, or rolled in large romaine lettuce leaves, with lemon wedges on the side.
3) Mushrooms + Oregano + Fontina -- A grown-up grilled cheese. The fontina, a cut above Kraft Select Singles; the sautéed mushrooms, rich and meaty. A kiss of oregano seals the deal.
Panini with Mushrooms and Fontina
Cook about two cups of sliced mushrooms in butter; season with fresh oregano or thyme, salt, and pepper. When the mushrooms have released their liquid and dried out, divide the vegetable mixture among slices of good-quality whole grain bread with thinly sliced fontina or other semi-hard cheese on top; add another slice of bread on top and brush the outside of both sides with olive oil or softened butter if you like. Cook the sandwich in whatever press you have until the bread is toasted and the cheese is melted, adjusting the heat as needed.
(Note: Good bread is the foundation of a successful sandwich, so pick something hearty - a sourdough, ciabatta or 12-grain. I recommend toasting for extra support and crunch.)
Mark Bittman's Kitchen Express presents more than 400 incredibly fast and easy recipes tailored to each season and presented in a simple, straightforward style. Bittman's recipe sketches are the ideal mix of inspiration and instruction: everything a home cook needs to prepare a delicious, healthful, and cost-conscious repertoire of meals for any season and any time of day.