you are what you eat

Pastrami and Basil Open Sandwiches


Open Sandwiches are delicious and easy to make. It is simple concept, just like a usual sandwich without the top layer of bread and much much more exciting (well I think so!) as you can use many different toppings and sauces! Open sandwiches are also ideal as an Iftaar meal. They are light, healthy and beautiful to look at and create as they are delicious!

An open sandwich can also be called a Danish smørrebrød. This is a buttered rich dark rye, with a variety of toppings ranging from deli meats, spreads, meat, chicken or fish.

The bread layer:

You can use any thick sliced whole grain bread. Regular white or brown bread will not do as the topping will be too heavy to hold. French bread or a Rusticata will also work well. I have used a soy and linseed bread. I double toast the bread to get them nice and crispy.


Spread a layer of sauce, mayo or pesto before adding your layers. I have used lite mayo mixed with basil pesto. The bread can be spread with any sauce or pesto of your choice. Plain or chunky fat free cottage cheese is also an option, mix with fennel, chives and lemon juice to add flavour to the cheese.

Vegetable toppings:

Vegetable topping could range from pitted olives, lettuce, baby spinach, basil or rocket leaves, tomato slices, slices of purple onion, egg plant, radish, fennel, chives, jalepenos, cucumber slices, avocado or roast vegetables. Thinly sliced and roasted baby marrow and mushrooms also make a delicious topping!

I used baby lettuce leaves, roma tomato slices, sliced purple onion and chives (not shown in this picture).

Protein options:

I used thinly sliced pastrami between the lettuce and tomato.  But any protein option will do. Make sure it os low fat! You can use chicken strips, beef strips, vegetable cutlets, stir fried prawns, smoked trout or salmon, buffalo mozzarella, ricotta cheese and even a poached or scrambled egg!


Always finish your open sandwich with a grind black pepper, salt and a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar or lemon/ lime juice. A spray bottle works very well. One for balsamic vinegar and one for olive oil. Alternatively, you can use a balsamic reduction which can be found in the condiment section of your local grocer. These range from Mediterranean herbed balsamic reductions, fruity flavoured balsamic reductions… the list is endless and very exciting!

Here are some delicious and exciting open sandwich options:

– Salt and Pepper steak, goat cheese, rocket and tomato.

– Salmon, radish and apple on rye.

– Tuna and fennel on a whole grain toast with a creme fraiche spread.

– Fig, ricotta and honey.

– Tuna filling (from my previous post) on rye with a lemon mayo spread.

– French bread topped with thai sweet chilli chicken strips and a tomato sambal.

– Multi grain Rusticata with a garlic olive oil spread, basil leaves, tomato slices, buffalo mozzarella and avocado.

– Whole grain toast, sliced boiled egg and fennel.

– Mashed avocado (add chilli paste and lemon juice when mashed), on Rye bread with salmon and a drizzle of lemon juice over the top. The same ago mash can be used with roast chicken leftovers.

The options are endless and let your imagination go wild! Once you have tried this, let me know what your toppings where and your family’s reaction!  Please do remember me in your special duaas!

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