Gertrude and I went up to northern Arizona to complete a 12 mile run last weekend. Well, that was the goal anyway...it turned out a little different than we anticipated. Originally, we thought we were being sooooo clever by getting out of ridiculously hot Phoenix for a morning, and traveling up to cooler weather to do our long training run. In theory, it was a good idea. It turned out to be the run from hell. We never anticipated that it would still be hot (there is really no escaping the heat anywhere in an Arizona summer) AND that running at a higher elevation, with hills, would be more of an--ahem--challenge. Needless to say, we did not run 12 miles. We ran 4.75 miles. Disappointing, I know.
On the drive back from our craptastically bad running fail we decided to stop somewhere fun for lunch. We chose one of my favorite spots, Postino Winecafe, since Gertrude had never been there before. It was a good choice, let me tell you. We had yummy bruschetta, wine (duh), split a sandwich/salad combo, and split dessert. All courses were phenomenal and we were happy, happy ladies. The good lunch took some of the sting out of the bad run.
One of our brushettas was a pesto smoked salmon creation that I modeled this sandwich after. It was fantastic, and I knew I needed to recreate it at home. My sandwich turned out just as tasty as the original bruschetta offering, albeit a little heartier. It totally hit the spot and eased my craving for Postino Winecafe. Yum! All in all, our delicious lunch made up for our sucky run and I got a new sandwich idea out of the whole excursion.
Pesto Smoked Salmon Sandwich
1 ciabiatta loaf
2 packages of smoked salmon (about 8 ounces total)
1/2 package of softened cream cheese
3-4 tablespoons of pesto (store-bought or homemade)
1/4 red onion, minced finely
1/2 small jar of capers
1 large beefsteak tomato,sliced
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the whole ciabiatta loaf directly on the oven rack for 6 minutes, so the crust may get crisp and the inside may get warm. Remove from oven with tongs and let cool slightly on a cutting board.
Once bread is cool enough to handle, slice the entire loaf lengthwise and brush some olive oil on both the top and bottom halves. Spread 1/4 cup of softened cream cheese on each half. On the bottom half, sprinkle capers and red onions over the cream cheese. Layer the smoked salmon on next. Place tomato slices on top of the smoked salmon and sprinkle on salt and pepper to taste. On the top half of the bread, slather pesto sauce over the cream cheese layer. Place top and bottom halves of the loaf together to assemble one large sandwich. Cut into individual sandwich servings and serve immediately.
This was sooooo great! Seriously, delicious. It was virtually no-cook, with the exception of heating up the bread. I love it when that happens!!! Also, it kept well in the fridge as leftovers for the next day. SO GOOD!