“What’s not to love about a sandwich?” says Libby Dunlop, owner of fuss-free Clovelly sandwich shop Cut Lunch Deli. She’s not wrong – sandwiches are very much still having a moment.
“The way I cook is very nostalgic,” says Dunlop. Fond memories of eating sandwiches while sprawled across a picnic blanket on her family farm, coupled with growing up in multicultural Chatswood, serve as the inspiration (dubbed by Dunlop as “modern Australian”) for many of the sangas on offer at Cut Lunch Deli. They span Japanese, Chinese and Indian influences, and Dunlop’s love of bread is key. “The combination of those things are really my food ethos,” she says.
The Sun Kissed is one of the most popular sangas at Cut Lunch Deli, and for good reason. “It’s the perfect balance of simple but with a little extra going on,” she says. It’s also somewhat of an ode to one of her favourite cooks and recipe developers, Molly Baz (a former food editor at Bon Appétit), whose nectarine, sumac and haloumi salad was a game changer for Dunlop. “I ate that salad all summer long,” she says. The Sun Kissed was originally made with nectarines, but they can be subbed out for nashi pears in the cooler months.
For Dunlop, it’s the pickled onion and mint dressing that gets her particularly excited. “Pickling is the simplest thing to do, and it just elevates something so much,” she says. “Onion can really take over a sandwich, but when you pickle it, it completely balances it out and also adds that subtle acidity.” Better yet, you’ll have leftovers to enjoy with lamb, salads, toast, or whatever else you want to whip up.
While you can’t really go wrong assembling a sandwich, Dunlop says putting the fillings in the right order is what makes the difference between good and great. For this recipe, she says, the haloumi, almonds and pear “need to be touching”. Timing the cooking of the haloumi to avoid it turning cold and rubbery is another pressure point. Try to cook it only moments before you’re ready to add it in, so it’s hot and gooey when you eat it.
For Dunlop, bread choice is also make or break. “For me, the idea of a crusty outside and soft white middle is like heaven,” she says. “Abbott’s Bakery’s feels like summer, and so does this sandwich – they’re the perfect match”.
This article was produced by Broadsheet in partnership with Abbott’s Bakery.
Libby Dunlop’s Sun Kissed vego sanga
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 3 minutes
1/2 cup flaked almonds
1 tsp olive oil
4 slices of haloumi
4 tbsp green olive tapenade
4 slices of Abbott’s Bakery Sourdough White
1 nashi pear, thinly sliced
1 cucumber, thinly sliced
2/3 cup Greek yoghurt
1/2 cup mayonnaise
Bunch of mint
Handful of basil (optional)
150ml apple-cider vinegar
50g caster sugar
1 red onion
Start with the mint dressing. Place ingredients in a food processor and combine, adding salt to taste. Set aside.
For the pickled onion, put vinegar, caster sugar and 100ml of water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Thinly slice the onion and place in a small heat-proof container. Once the vinegar mixture has come to the boil and the sugar has dissolved, pour it over the sliced onion and set aside to cool.
Place the flaked almonds in a small, dry frypan over high heat, tossing every 30 seconds until the almonds turn golden. (Be careful not to overcook them; the burnt flavour will overpower the other ingredients.) Set aside.
Add a splash of olive oil to a small pan over medium heat and add the haloumi. Cook until brown on one side, then flip and repeat.
While the haloumi is in the pan, spread the olive tapenade on two slices of bread, then add the cooked haloumi. Add a layer of the sliced nashi pear, then sprinkle with the roasted almonds. Add a layer of cucumber, then pickled onions. Spread two tablespoons of mint sauce (per sandwich) on the other two slices of bread and close the sandwiches.
Refrigerate leftover mint dressing and pickled onions in separate airtight containers and use within four days and three weeks, respectively.
This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with Abbott’s Bakery.