five-ingredient Archives

Five-Ingredient Pecorino-Cremini Sandwiches

Pecorino-Cremini Sandwcih

There was supposed to be soup for you yesterday, a really nice, hearty fall soup with barley and mushrooms and lentils. The dish was one of the last notable recipes I tested back in the old apartment. But then I packed the recipe notes in a box that’s as yet unopened in our new place. I can’t complain though, both because I love our new place so much and because I have this great sandwich in the repository, and my organizational disabilities give me a chance to share it.

Back when Carly and I were figuring out the scope of five-ingredient sandwich series, we split up the recipes. She suggested a few of her favorites, and I developed a couple simple sandwiches whose tasty sums were greater than their relatively humble, pantry-staple parts. This fresh, open-faced sandwich is Carly’s, and I’m so happy to be sharing it with you on this fall day when the weather seems particularly hospitable to nutty pecorino and bright mushrooms.

Here’s what Carly says:

I always keep a wedge of pecorino in my fridge to go with the many pasta dishes I love to make. Inevitably I can’t resist nibbling on the cheese at other times as well. This sandwich became a lunchtime favorite as an open-face sandwich. Allowing the butter to melt into the warm bread keeps it soft and moist, and brings out the sharp flavor of the cheese and the mellow taste of the creminis.

Have a sandwich you love? Tell me in the comments and I’ll try it as soon as I can.

Five-Ingredient Pimenton Potato & Egg Sandwich

Five-Ingredient Pimenton Potato Sandwich | Big Girls Small Kitchen

You know you’ve met a true carbohydrate lover when she craves not just warm bread, but warm bread with potatoes; not just a bowl of fluffy jasmine rice, but rice with chana bateta. Let’s take a minute to consider the real ingenuity of the burrito: it’s not in the guac nor the carnitas, but rather in the combination of tortilla and rice.

The latest edition of the Five-Ingredient Sandwich is cut from the same carby cloth. Slices of potatoes, tossed with oil and smoked paprika, pile up on soft foccacia to create a killer vegetarian sandwich. There’s arugula, mayo, and an egg as well.

The dual inspirations for this both come from Spain, and neither is in the double carb club. The first, a mountain of freshly fried potato chips with a spicy tomato sauce and a fried egg, was what my sister Kate and I subsisted on when we visited Madrid. We kept wanting to try new restaurants, but we kept returning to the one with the freshly fried potato chips, the spicy tomato sauce, and the egg.

The second, the Spanish omelet or tortilla espagnola, you probably know about. That, a bread-free meal-in-a-skillet will have long won you over if you’re a busy, new, poor, or space-challenged cook. My friend Marc has perfected the dish (his tip: use plenty of oil when frying the potatoes), but we’ve got an old BGSK recipe you can start with here.

Open-Faced Avocado & Red Pesto Sandwich

Avocado & Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Tartine | Big Girls Small Kitchen

This weekend, we made and ate a lot of food, as I hope you did too. Dinners involved grilled steak, pulled pork sandwiches, and mac ‘n cheese. For breakfast, we cooked doughboys, biscuit dough squeezed onto s’mores sticks and roasted over a fire, then stuffed with butter and strawberry jam. At lunch, we made sandwich after sandwich. There were so many fillings and spreads at hand that sandwich-making inevitably turned into a game show.

That’s fine by me. I’m competitive, and sandwich making is an art worthy of judgement. The right proportions are part of the championship formula, as are the right mix of textures. At the very least, you’ll want some spicy or pungent ingredients, and some that are more mild. When a sandwich errs on the side of too mild, I reach for the sun-dried tomatoes, which deliver a serious punch to creamy components like mozzarella or avocado.

And so when Carly, whom you know from taking the beautiful photos herehere, and here, told me about an open-faced sandwich she loved that featured mild avocado and bright sun-dried tomato pesto, I couldn’t wait to get the post and photos up on the site. Here’s what Carly says about this delicious five-ingredient number:

This sandwich was born out of a moment when, scouring the cupboards in a moment of hunger, something random came together and worked. Really worked. A friend had introduced me to a similar sandwich, with cottage cheese and avocado slices, but being without cottage cheese, I put together this alternative, which has now surpassed the original. A bold red pesto complements the creaminess of a well-ripened avocado creating a rich, satisfying flavor.


Have a five-ingredient sandwich you adore? Tell me in the comments, and I’ll add it to the repertoire. See the first two posts in the series here.

The Five-Ingredient Sandwich: Radish & Radish Leaf Pesto with Avocado on Brioche

Custom Melamine Plates from Zazzle | Big Girls Small Kitchen

It’s hard to say why this has become a thing for me seeing as most of my clothing is solid, striped, or plaid, but I’m dying for a pair of leggings with photographs of hamburgers printed all over them. Have you seen those? If I can stay sane, I’ll probably never own them. But that doesn’t mean I can’t customize other things with photographs of food.

Like, for example, melamine plates that don’t break and are perfectly light and transportable for nights when dinner is replaced by a picnic in the park. Thanks, Zazzle. (Here’s where you can make our own plates–they’re a perfect gift for yourself or for others.)

In addition to celebrating the fact that you can print food on plates from Zazzle (!), this post also contains the recipe for the second five-ingredient sandwich invented for that brand new/eponymous series. Though I intended the sandwich posts to be about merely making yourself something decent from what’s in the fridge, there’s no reason that simple sandwich supper or lunch can’t be shared. On custom melamine plates. In the park.

I’ve spent the spring deeply devoted to radishes. For dinner parties, I’ve been sautéing them, and when I find radishes with their greens in good shape, I make sure to use those too. (Wash and dry the greens right after arriving back at home. They go bad so quickly.) In this number, I turned those greens into a simple pesto, which is the second layer (after butter) on these tea sandwich-like concoctions. Atop the pesto and below the avocado, you’ll find radish rounds arranged in a flower–pretty enough for a picture on a plate.

The Five-Ingredient Sandwich: Goat Cheese Tartine

Goat Cheese Tartine | Big Girls, Small Kitchen

Welcome to my new monthly series: the five-ingredient sandwich. Coming up, you’ll find delicious but really simple sandwiches with just five ingredients in the filling, or sometimes fewer, in surprising and delightful combinations.

Sandwiches exemplify exactly what we’re trying to do here: make cooking at home no big deal. A sandwich lets even a busy/busy/busy quarter-lifer with a million things she has to do (or thinks she has to do) skip takeout and freezer meals and eat something wholesome and useful instead. Because we’re not talking about mediocre, unoriginal sandwiches here. We’re going to feature sandwiches so good they easily feel like a gourmet meal–not a meal of last resort, like cereal or beans from the can. Case in point: the egg sandwich.

The first sandwich only has three ingredients in its filling: goat cheese, honey, and thyme. And, rather than an official two-bread sandwich, this offering is open-faced, so I’m calling your newest breakfast, lunch, AND dinner a tartine.

Some of the sandwiches will be my creations, but this one comes to us from Carly Diaz, a photographer who lives out in Portland, OR. You’re seen Carly’s beautiful photos on the site before (here, here, and here), and I’m so glad she’s sharing her sandwich here today.

Here’s what Carly says:

This recipe reminds me of my years living in Amsterdam, where you can find this simple sandwich in many of the cafés. The combination of sweet honey and creamy goat cheese makes it a satisfying midday meal and I quickly found myself recreating it at home and, eventually, bringing it back with me to Portland. I switch out fluffy Dutch rolls for thick, hearty slices of wheat and slather a layer of butter to melt into the freshly toasted bread if I’m feeling decadent. One bite, and I’m transported back to the city of canals and bicycles.

Have a sandwich you love? Tell me in the comments and I’ll try it as soon as I can.