I’m a romantic at heart, so I have these swoon-worthy visions of summertime picnics. At the seaside, at sunset, or at a music performance, there’s something about the perfect picnic that makes my culinary heart pitter-patter.
And, yes, the vision of my perfect picnic has cold lemonade, a more adult sipper, and a great salad. Still, it’s pretty much incomplete unless there’s a sandwich like this Slow-Roasted Tomato and Cilantro-Cashew Picnic Sandwich.
There’s an art to the ideal picnic sandwich–made right, the bread soaks up the flavors, and everything is perfectly marinated by the time the shindig gets swinging, as is the situation with this Slow-Roasted Tomato and Cilantro-Cashew Picnic Sandwich. I haven’t dusted off the picnic basket in a good while, but I’m determined to change that up this summer and started picnicking with a vengeance on the July 4th weekend.
This Slow-Roasted Tomato and Cilantro-Cashew Picnic Sandwich doesn’t so much call for a technique, nor does it need a recipe because truth told, all I did was take a few of my favorite things and slap them on bread. I slathered some Cashew-Cilantro spread on a baguette (toasted, if that’s your style), topped it with those crave-worthy Slow-Roasted tomatoes we talked about last month, and added some fresh goat cheese for zing and creaminess.
Oh, and, of course, these guys don’t need to stay on sandwiches — the combo would be just as great on crostini as an easy appetizer or rolled up into chicken for an involtini-type thing. But do me a favor and try it once as a picnic sandwich and get your fill of summertime picnics before the season passes us all by.
Slow-Roasted Tomato and Cilantro-Cashew Picnic Sandwich Recipe
- 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes halved
- 3 medium garlic cloves 2 unpeeled
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil divided
- Kosher salt and Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 medium jalapeño chile
- 1/2 cup roasted salted cashews
- 1 1/2 cups packed fresh cilantro leaves
- 1/2 medium lime juiced
- 2 (8 ounce) seeded or whole grain mini baguettes
- 3 ounces fresh goat cheese (aka chèvre) softened until spreadable
- Slow Roast The Tomatoes: Heat an oven to 225°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Slice tomatoes in half, then drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, salt, and pepper.Add the two unpeeled garlic cloves, toss to coat, then transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and slow roast until the tomatoes are shrunken and drier but still left with a little moisture (so a little less dry than sun-dried tomatoes). This can take anywhere from 2 to 4 hours, depending on the size of the tomatoes.
- Make the Cashew-Cilantro Purée: Meanwhile, turn a gas burner on medium heat and char the jalapeño, frequently turning, until blackened and slightly collapsed. Transfer the jalapeños to a cutting board to cool slightly.Once cool enough, trim off the stems from the jalapeños and remove the seeds and ribs. If you like spice, add the seeds and ribs, or taste and adjust to your liking.
- Combine jalapeño, nuts, remaining olive oil, remaining garlic and a pinch of salt and pepper in food processor and process until mixture is very creamy and light white. Add cilantro and lime and pulse until just evenly combined and mixture is light green. Taste and add more salt as needed.
- For the Picnic Sandwich: Split baguettes in half lengthwise then spread fresh goat cheese (aka chèvre) on the bottom halves. Top with a few spoonfuls of the Cashew-Cilantro Purée then divide tomatoes among the sandwiches. Close and serve immediately; or, if using for a picnic, wrap in parchment paper then aluminum foil and keep cool until ready to serve.