The greatest summer sandwich of all time


I woke up to an inch of snow this morning.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love snow.  Growing up in Cleveland, you kind of had too, otherwise you were one of THOSE people, the un-fun losers who stuck up their noses at skiing and snowball fights.

But being in college, I live 20 minutes off campus to save money.  Instead of sled riding, snow means I have to look forward to walking those 20 minutes in the disgusting concoction of over-ambitious rain Cincinnatians call “the white death.”

Please.

Anyway, it’s no surprise that visions of summer have been calling out to me.  Perhaps it’s the scurvy talking, but I had a mean craving for a summer sandwich.

AND THUS, THE AVOCADO APPLE & HAM WAS BORN!!!

oh yeah.

And let me tell you, it was one of the most delicious sandwiches I think I’ve ever created.

To achieve the awesomeness of an Avocado Apple & Ham requires strength, bravery, and these ingredients:

1. one ripe avocado (it should be slightly squishy when you buy it at the store)

2. one small ripe lime (should NOT be squishy)

3. deli sliced honey ham

4. Italian bread (I use Arnold’s because of the baked-in taste of buttery goodness)

5. one Granny Smith apple

6. grape tomatos, sliced in half

7. cream cheese to taste

First piece of advice: don’t be afraid of using avocados!  I know people who won’t buy them because they just don’t know how to go about cutting or serving them.  They are ridiculously easy to cut; their soft goobey insides cut like butter.  Just slice lengthwise, remove the pit, and spoon out the delicious meat.  The only trick to serving avocado is that it quickly turns brown.  There are two ways to deal with this: 1.) cut and serve your avocado right before you plan to eat, or 2.) preserve the color of the fruit by soaking it in lime juice.

I love lime, I think it adds a nice citric-y pow to the food, and its acid cuts through too much richness.  Thank you food network.

After spooning your avocado insides into a bowl, take a nice heaping dollop of cream cheese and mix them together thoroughly.  I probably used about a tablespoon or two, but this part is really up to you.  You want the cream cheese taste to come through, but not overpower the other flavors.  Taste and readjust as you go.  Luckily, if you do mix too much in, you have your lime juice to back you up.

Cut your lime in half, and squeeze out one half’s juice on your spread.  Set the other half aside.

avocado cream cheese spread

Lightly toast the Italian bread.  It will keep the party on the plate from getting too soggy.

Place your halved tomatoes on your plate, and cut your apple slices.  I cut mine into wide sticks, so they are easier to eat.

Spread your avocado/cream cheese mixture on your toast, lay down a couple slices of ham, and finish with some lined-up apple slices on top.

I know what you’re thinking.  Apple?!  In a sandwich.  Girl must be tripping.

Yeah, ok, it is a little weird.  But the firmness of the apple is there to provide texture in what would otherwise be a very mushy sandwich.  Along with the lime, it provides an explosion of freshness to balance the rich taste of cream cheese and ham.

The buttery-ness from the italian bread, the sweet/sour of the apple, the warm flavor of ham, the tang of lime, and the velvety mouthfeel of the avacado and cream cheese spread all come together in one glorious mish mash of decadent flavor.  Pop a few grape tomatoes in your mouth, and its like fireworks.

Remember that other half of a lime?  Squeeze it into a glass, add some ice water, and you’ve got a tasty, healthy, all-natural summer drink to go with your lunch.  Or make margaritas (hey, this is college after all).  No lime left behind!

A good way to beat the winter blues and look forward to my last summer in college.

BTW, aren’t my roommate’s lemon slice placemats super cute?  So appropriate for summer eating.

lemon slice placemats!

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