We don't just cover the North Bay. We live here.
Did You Know? In the first 10 days of the North Bay fire, nearly 1.5 million people used their mobile devices to visit our sites.
Already a subscriber?
Wow! You read a lot!
Reading enhances confidence, empathy, decision-making, and overall life satisfaction. Keep it up! Subscribe.
Already a subscriber?
Oops, you're out of free articles.
Until next month, you can always look over someone's shoulder at the coffee shop.
Already a subscriber?
We don't just cover the North Bay. We live here.
Did You Know? In the first 10 days of the North Bay fire, we posted 390 stories about the fire. And they were shared nearly 137,000 times.
Already a subscriber?
Supporting the community that supports us.
Obviously you value quality local journalism. Thank you.
Already a subscriber?
Oops, you're out of free articles.
We miss you already! (Subscriptions start at just 99 cents.)
Already a subscriber?

With summer produce unfolding weeks and in some cases even a month or two earlier than usual in recent years, there is more time to indulge our pleasure in the foods that will vanish come rain (we hope, please) and cooler temperatures. There is a leisurely quality to this year’s harvest so far, a lack of urgency. We have tomatoes already, we said in June, and we are likely to have them for quite some time.

The same with sweet peppers. We have them now and may have them well into October or November.

This abundance has made me dig deep into my recipe archives, to some of the things I enjoyed years ago, when I was first writing this column and even before then. I found many old favorites that I’ll feature now and then, as earlier columns are not archived online.

Here, I’ve adapted two favorites, one a sandwich inspired by Middle Eastern street food and the other by the garden of a friend which, for me, is always the best source of inspiration.


This delicious sandwich is adapted from classic Tunisian casse-croute, the country’s version of a submarine sandwich and common as street food. Traditionally, the bread is spread with harissa, not chermoula, but the two condiments have a lot in common and both are delicious. The sandwich, which you can think of as a cousin of the Provençal pan bagnat, includes a Tunisian salad known as mechwiyah, which also may be served alongside roasted meats and fish, with tagines and couscous, atop sliced grilled eggplant or alongside creamy polenta. It is a great way to preserve some of summer’s produce, as it will keep for several days in the refrigerator.

Tunisian-Inspired Sandwich

Serves 4 to 6

— Chermoula (recipe follows)

2 red bell peppers

1 onion, cut in half through its equator

3 ripe red tomatoes, cut in half through their equators

— Kosher salt

2 garlic cloves, crushed and minced

— Juice of 1 lemon

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground caraway seed

— Black pepper in a mill

2 ablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1- pound long sourdough loaf, sliced in half lengthwise

4 to 5 small potatoes, cooked and thinly sliced

12 ounces cooked wild King salmon, flaked, or 1 6-ounce can best-quality tuna, drained and flaked

1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and thinly sliced

1 small red onion, very thinly sliced

2 cups shredded lettuce of choice

3 pastured eggs, hard-cooked, chilled and peeled, sliced

First, make the Chermoula and set it aside.

Next, char the peppers under a hot broiler until they are uniformly blistered and the flesh is softened. Set aside.

While the peppers cool, make the michwiyah: Set the onions and tomatoes on a pan that will fit under the broiler, place them cut side up, and sprinkle with salt. Broil for 30 minutes, until charred; remove the tomatoes from the broiler, turn the onions over and cook for another 25 minutes, until very well charred.

Set aside to cool.

Remove the charred skins of the red peppers, cut out their stem and seed core and cut into thin (¼ inch) julienne. Cut the julienned slices into ¼-inch squares. Transfer to a medium mixing bowl.

Scoop the tomato out of its skin and chop it as finely as possible; add it to the bowl with the peppers. Peel the onion, cut it into small dice and add to the bowl and toss the vegetables together. Add the garlic, lemon juice, cumin and caraway and toss again. Taste, correct for salt, season with several turns of black pepper and stir in the olive oil.

Set aside, covered. This can be made a day in advance and stored in the refrigerator; bring it to room temperature before serving.

To complete the sandwich, toast the bread very lightly and set it on a clean work surface.

Spread chermoula over the both sides of the bread and top the lower half with the mechwiyah. Layer the potatoes over the mechwiyah, top with the salmon or tuna and layer the cucumber, red onion and lettuce on top.

Layer the sliced egg down the center, season with salt and pepper and top with the upper half of the bread.

Cut the sandwich into individual slices and serve immediately. To take on a picnic, slice the sandwich and then wrap the entire thing tightly first in wax paper and then in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Store in a cooler until ready to serve.



Makes about 1 ¼ cup

3 to 4 garlic cloves, peeled

— Kosher salt

1 cup lightly-packed fresh cilantro, chopped

½ cup lightly-packed fresh Italian parsley, chopped

2 teaspoons sweet Spanish paprika

1 teaspoon hot Spanish paprika

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon chipotle powder or piment d’Esplette

— Juice of 2 lemons

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to taste

Put the garlic into a suribachi or mortar, sprinkle it with salt and use a wooden pestle to grind it into a paste. Add the cilantro and parsley and continue to pound and grind until a uniform but chunky puree is formed. Add both paprikas, cumin and chipotle powder and stir in the lemon juice.

Season with salt and stir in the olive oil. Taste and correct for salt and acid balance as needed.

Chermoula will keep for 2 to 3 days covered and stored in the refrigerator. Bring it to room temperature before using.


This lovely salad is refreshing, easy to make and portable; it has no mayonnaise and so you don’t have to be overly concerned if you take it to a picnic.

A Simple Summer Potato Salad

Serves 3 to 4

12 small new potatoes, thinly sliced

— Juice of 1 lemon

1 thin cucumber, preferably Armenian or Tasty Jade variety, very thinly sliced

½ Walla Walla or other sweet onion, very thinly sliced

6 to 8 radishes, trimmed and very thinly sliced

1 cup quartered cherry tomatoes

3 tablespoons fresh snipped chives, shredded mint, chopped Italian parsley or a mix of all three

— Kosher salt

— Black pepper in a mill

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more as needed

2 to 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar, plus more to taste

— Black pepper in a mill

Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water until they are tender but retain their shape, about 6 to 7 minutes. Drain them thoroughly, put them in a wide shallow bowl, sprinkle the lemon juice over them and let cool for 15 minutes.

Add the cucumber, onion, radishes, tomatoes and herbs, season with salt and pepper and toss very gently. Drizzle with the olive oil and vinegar and toss again. Season with several turns of black pepper.

Taste and correct for salt and acid. Serve at room temperature.

Michele Anna Jordan has written 17 books to date, including “Vinaigrettes and Other Dressings.” You’ll find her blog, “Eat This Now,” at pantry.blogs.pressdemocrat.com. Email Jordan at michele@saladdresser.com.

Show Comment