By Lisa Golden Schroeder
It’s happening again. Another weeknight where every member of the family is someplace else until about 10 o’clock, arriving on our doorstep hungry and tired. Too hungry to just go to bed, dreaming about a huge breakfast. Leftover anything is always a good answer, along with a big pan of popped corn or a bowl of cold cereal. Or the latest fave among my teenagers: melted cheese sandwiches. Basically any good bread topped with whatever they find in the fridge—leftover meat, maybe a few veggies or sliced tomato, and lots of grated cheese. Popped under the broiler till melted and gooey, it’s only minutes until a late-night supper is served. I usually defer to the eaters to scrounge up their own mishmash of open-face toppings, but on other nights (not so late ones) I’m the one scrambling to pull a real dinner together.
The key to really appealing open-face sandwiches is bread that makes a statement. The current variety of artisan-style flatbreads, pita folds, or unique flat focaccia breads makes it fun to conjure up quick meals. Even my very mainstream warehouse grocery store is carrying whole-grain flatbreads, tortilla wraps, and pitas in every shape and form in the deli department—right where the feta cheese, hummus, and olive bar live. How perfect to gather everything needed to make Mediterranean inspired sandwiches or “pizzas”. I recently found a long rectangular pain a l’huile d’olive et aux herbes, a French-style flat focaccia baked with olive oil and herbs, that made a fantastic flatbread melt that was easily sliced into either wide chunks or narrow pieces that would be a lovely appetizer. Topped with tender shreds of leftover chicken thighs, sweet roasted cherry tomatoes and red onion, and pungent feta and olives…the combo was gorgeous and tasted even better than it looked. I’m partial to these bold flavors, but you could choose to go with barbecued shredded chicken and cilantro or a chunky chicken salad with a creamy herbed dressing and a melting of mild cheddar cheese…there’s no limit to the concoctions (my son’s word) you can come up with.
|GREEK GYROS FLATBREAD MELT||
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 (12 ounces) rectangular or round flatbread
- 3 ounces sliced Provolone cheese
- 2 cups shredded cooked Just BARE® chicken*
- 2 cups packed fresh spinach leaves, coarsely chopped
- ½ cup mixed pitted Greek olives
- 1-1/2 ounces crumbled garlic & herb feta cheese
- 1-1/2 teaspoons dried Greek seasoning or dried basil
- Coarse salt, freshly ground pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste
- Heat oven to 400˚F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment. Place tomatoes and onion on baking sheet; drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 10 minutes.
- Remove parchment with vegetables from baking sheet; replace with a fresh sheet of parchment. Place flatbread on baking sheet. Tear Provolone slices into pieces; arrange half of cheese on flatbread. Top with chicken, spinach, and olives. Top with feta cheese and remaining Provolone. Sprinkle with seasonings and drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon oil.
- Bake flatbread 7 to 9 minutes or until cheese is melted and flatbread is hot.