I've let Nancy Silverton's Sandwich Book languish on my desk for too long, so this weekend I finally decided to make a recipe from this famously excessive sandwich collection. (Stay tuned for a full cookbook review.) Since I was having friends over for a casual dinner, I avoided the more labor-intensive recipes in favor of a simple but delicious sandwich that would showcase the fresh tomatoes I bought that morning at the farmers market.
This PLT — pancetta, lettuce, and tomato — is a variation on the classic BLT (from New York's 'Ino) using Italian pancetta and arugula. Silverton's book is designed so that, if you choose, you can prepare each ingredient without shortcuts — for instance, braising artichokes rather than buying jarred ones or even making bread from scratch. Since the recipe called for it, I opted to make my own lemon aioli from Silverton's recipe. But despite my ambition, this dinner ended up being something of a disaster. To find out why, read more