One of the most satisfying ways to celebrate freshly baked bread is to sandwich it around world-class ingredients. And then to toast it.
Cheese is obligatory; ideally a combination of one that melts well and another that packs a powerful punch. But that dairy needs another savoury item to provide interest beyond the first bite. This could be a cured or cooked meat, or a thinly sliced but still punchy vegetable, like onions, leeks or fennel.
More easy meal inspiration:
- Warming french onion soup
- Garlic, potato and chorizo tortilla
- Sweet potato hash with smashed avocado
Condiments are essential, be it a piquant or sweet pickle or conserve, or something hot and spicy from Pimento Hill. Finally, the toastie must be cooked with care – compressed from time to time, and fried at a pace that ensures the outside is crisp and golden, and the centre molten.
To prescribe just one combination of ingredients would not do justice to the possibilities, so following the main recipe are a few ideas to inspire when out shopping or raiding the fridge.
- slices of sourdough 2, 1–2cm-thick
- cheese 60g, ideally a 50/50 combination of melting and strong, both coarsely grated
- sliced cured meat 20g, or 40g sliced cooked meat (optional)
- onions, spring onions or leeks 15g, finely sliced (optional)
- condiment of choice
Other possible combinations
- stilton (or other strong blue), Fontina and kimchi
- ’Nduja, honey and mozzarella
- cooked ham, raclette, Comté and mustard
- cheddar, Ogleshield, leeks and chutney
- soft-rind white cheese, turkey and cranberry sauce
- bresaola, tapenade and emmental on rye bread
- fennel salami, Umbrico (drunken cheese) and dill pickles
- tallegio, roast peppers, spring onions and chives
Recipe from The Borough Market Cookbook by Ed Smith, published by Hodder & Stoughton, £25. Image by Issy Croker.
Read more recipes by Borough Market chefs, writers and cooks at boroughmarket.org.uk/recipes