One of the things I really enjoy about cooking is trying to recreate restaurant meals. Sometimes I even think that I’ve gotten a recipe just a little bit better than the original – but that’s probably because I believe the best meals are those made and eaten at home.
This quick and easy salad-and-sandwich combination was inspired by a delicious lunch shared with my mom, dad and Kel during a recent trip to Marco Island, Florida. We cooked most of our meals at our rental house, but found this vegan-friendly restaurant right in the heart of Naples. The food was simple and very fresh and the company couldn’t be beat.
I eliminated the olive oil in both the sandwich and the salad – they just don’t need it! And I created a kind of chopped salad for the sandwich filling rather than keeping the ingredients whole. I thought it would be easier to eat that way (plus you get a bit of everything in every bite), but it turns out, this sandwich is just messy. Serve it open-faced if you aren’t eating this with family!
Cafe Barcelona Veggie Sandwich
1 roasted pepper, chopped
2 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
6 Spanish olives, chopped
a couple of slices of red onion, chopped
ground black pepper
Cut the baguette in two and then slice each piece in half. Set aside.
In a bowl, combine the roasted pepper, lettuce, olives, red onion, lemon zest and black pepper. Divide the mixture between the baguette slices.
Cafe Barcelona Wilted Spinach Salad with Pine Nuts, Apple and Golden Raisins
5 oz. fresh baby spinach
1/4 cup golden raisins
1 oz. pine nuts
1/2 tart-sweet apple, cored and chopped
splash veggie broth
splash fresh lemon juice
Lightly brown the pine nuts, raisins and apple in a dry skillet. Stir often to prevent burning. Add a splash of vegetable broth and put the spinach in the pan, turning to gently wilt it.
Turn off the heat and remove the pan from the burner and splash the spinach with lemon juice. Stir and divide the mixture between two plates.