When school starts, I consider it fall. No matter that the high reaches 90 degrees most days and I can still get good tomatoes at the farmer's market; I'm ready for it to be sweater weather (and stay that way--I can pass on winter, thank you). Today, Labor Day, marks the "official" end of summer, and it's a bit cooler and rainy and at least it LOOKS like fall outside, so I made a decidedly autumnal sandwich for lunch. And it was one of the best sandwiches I've ever had...which is saying a lot, since anything on bread pretty much qualifies as my favorite food.
This is a bit more labor-intensive than a ham and cheese on wheat, but the extra effort pays off. The nuttiness of sesame seeds plays off the sharp tang of feta, and the figs' already considerable sweetness deepens with a quick toss in a saute pan and a drizzle of honey. The bread is almost secondary, but a nice hearty whole-grain works well (I used Whole Food's Seeduction bread, one of my favorites despite the name). Now that I think of it, though, this recipe might work even better as a salad, on a bed of arugula perhaps.
sesame-crusted feta and fig sandwiches
adapted from serious eats
4 oz. block feta
1 tbsp butter
4 figs, quartered
1 tbsp olive oil
1 egg, beaten
2 tbsp sesame seeds
1/2 tsp coriander
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tbsp honey
4 slices of hearty bread
Slice feta into approximately 1/4" slices and place on a plate in the freezer to harden, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, heat butter in a nonstick skillet over medium heat until bubbly, 2-3 minutes. Add figs and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
Combine sesame seeds, coriander, and red pepper on a medium plate. Remove feta from freezer, dip each slice in egg and coat all sides evenly with sesame seed mixture.
Heat olive oil in skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Saute feta until golden on both sides, turning carefully with tongs, a minute or two per side. Remove from heat.
Top each slice of bread with feta and figs, season with salt and black pepper, and drizzle with honey.