October 04, 2008

Waffled sandwiches on tomato-basil bread

One of my favorite treats when I was a teenager was waffles and ice cream. There was a deli near our house that served up fresh, fragrant, warm waffles with multiple scoops of Breyer's ice cream. Peach or strawberry was my ice cream of choice. Sigh. I can almost smell those waffles as I type. (Or maybe it's the tomato-caraway bread baking downstairs!) Anyway, I still have a fondness for waffles, although now they're the vegan variety. But I hardly ever have them because I'm so lazy. The sandwiches I made recently for supper reminded me of one of my favorite treats - minus the ice cream.

I mentioned in an earlier post that I don't usually eat sandwiches. I don't have anything against a good sandwich, but it's more satisfying to me to bring leftovers to work and heat them up. Now that I've accepted the microwave into my life, (at work, not at home!) it's become much easier to enjoy a nice hot lunch. It just feels more balanced and less bread-y. But there must be some part of my sub-conscious that's been feeling sandwich-deprived, because I've certainly had my fair share of them during the last month! Today I was thinking about how I've always wanted to grill a sandwich in the waffle iron, but it seemed like too much effort to haul it down from its high storage cabinet just to make a sandwich that could be made in the toaster oven or in a pan. Today I not only made that waffled sandwich, I made the bread, too.

There was a jar of tomato juice hidden in the back of the refrigerator (my husband does the shopping so I'm never quite sure what I'll find lurking in the fridge) and a bag of basil that I got in yesterday's CSA box so I made tomato-basil bread with crushed red pepper. The color was gorgeous and the taste and texture were good, but not quite as basil-y or tomato-y as I'd hoped. There was slight heat from the pepper flakes but nothing alarming. It was made in a bread machine.

Tomato basil bread (1-1/2 pound loaf)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 5/8 cup tomato juice (low sodium if you can get it)
  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour (Bob's Red Mill is a good source)
  • 1 cup unbleached white flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons evaporated cane juice or agave syrup
  • handful (3 0r 4) basil leaves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons instant active dry yeast

Put everything in the bread machine in the order given. Choose medium crust. Press start.

Now for the fun part. For the sandwiches, I used a piece of Follow Your Heart vegan mozzarella that was left over from making pizza last week. I've noticed that this cheese spoils really fast - I was surprised to find it still white and not pink - and I wanted to use it up. I layered it with tomato from the garden, heated up the waffle iron, sprayed both sides of the sandwich with olive oil, placed it between the grids and "closed" the waffle iron. "Closed" is in quotes because the waffler didn't really close with the sandwich stuck inside of it, but it cooked the sandwich to perfection. It looked really cool as you can see in the picture, and it was crispy and delicate at the same time. I wish I'd done this when my kids were small. I think kids would really enjoy sandwiches made this way. And although the cheese doesn't LOOK melted, it was. The sandwich was served with broccoli from our garden with raspberries from the CSA for dessert.


  1. What a fun idea for a sandwich! Love the look of it. And that bread recipe--well, I think it's time for me to attempt a yeast bread. ;) (Oh, also: that broccoli is gorgeous. How lucky that you're able to grow it there! My own little gardening venture yielded about a dozen tomatoes before the plants were attacked by a blight of some kind. But my mystery red hot chili peppers are still thriving. . . )

  2. I've been doing a lot of sandwiches in my George Foreman grill. Same idea without the pretty cross-hatching. I haven't made anything as fancy as your tomato-basil bread though! Yum!


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