A few weeks ago, I went to the Arnold Arboretum for the annual Mother’s Day Lilac Festival. It was a perfect day: lots of families, lots of dogs, and a one-day lift on the Arboretum’s gently enforced ban on picnic food. Instead of surreptitiously sneaking food into the Arboretum that day, they gathered many of Boston’s best food trucks and encouraged you to eat while you browsed the flowers.
My sister, Jackie, wasn’t able to make the trip, but she was adamant about one thing: I had to hit up the food truck The Dining Car. She had eaten their honey truffle goat cheese sandwich and dreamt about it ever since. I took her advice and bought one of the sandwiches, and immediately understood her enthusiasm. The tang of the goat cheese and sweetness of the honey were perfectly accented by the herbal truffle—which was noticeable but not overpowering—and given a nice crunch from toasted walnuts.
Jackie asked me to create a version of the menu item that she could serve a group of friends who like the sandwich as much as she does. But there was one catch: one of her friends has a severe nut allergy, so the walnuts would have to be omitted. Instead, I used cucumber, whose texture contrasted that of the smooth cheese, and whose flavor didn’t distract from those of the other ingredients. This also simplified the recipe so it’s all stirring and assembling and no actual cooking. Together, it makes for a good stand-in until you can get to The Dining Car to try the real thing. You could even take it to the Arboretum and turn it into a discreet picnic!
Goat Cheese Sandwiches with Honey and Truffle Oil
Makes 4 sandwiches
4 ounces goat cheese
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for dressing greens
1 teaspoon honey
1 cup mixed greens
½ teaspoon lemon juice
1 (12-inch) baguette, cut into 4 equal pieces and halved
1 small cucumber, sliced thin
1. Crumble goat cheese into small bowl. Gently stir in 2 teaspoons oil and honey. In second small bowl, drizzle lemon juice over mixed greens and gently toss together.
2. Spread equal amount goat cheese mixture on each piece of baguette. Drizzle truffle oil over top of goat cheese. (A little bit goes a long way.) Cover each sandwich with several cucumber slices, top with equal amount dressed greens and top of baguette. Serve.
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