Last week, I wrote about how I was determined to squeeze every last bit of summer out of the weekend. I definitely succeeded – it was one of the best weekends I’ve had in a long time! From dinner at our favorite lakeside shack to a long drive in the country, a trip to the driving range, and a double feature at the drive-in, we definitely crammed a ton in! We planned to bring a picnic dinner – including these sandwiches – to a free play in the park on Sunday, but thunderstorms ended up keeping us home. Which was just as well, since we were exhausted from Saturday’s activities. A day of napping on the couch was perfect. We had a living room picnic instead!
I love bringing these ham and asparagus sandwiches on picnics because they hold up really well (the crusty ciabatta rolls don’t get soggy) and the flavors get even better after they’ve had a chance to mingle for a little while in the picnic basket. They’re also really hearty. You don’t need to add anything in order to make them into a satisfying meal (a hand full of chips to round things out doesn’t hurt though.)
So, what’s packed in there? Ham (I used Jones Dairy Farm slices), pecorino romano cheese (it has a ton of flavor, so a little goes a long way), shaved red onion, roasted red pepper, asparagus, arugula, and a really fantastic dressing made with balsamic vinegar and a ton of dried herbs. Everything works together so well and the flavors just sing! I know asparagus on a sandwich seems weird, but trust me on this one. I don’t even know what possessed me to try it the first time – I think I just had some leftover from dinner the night before – but I’m completely hooked. I put it on all sorts of sandwiches now, but I especially love it with ham.
Speaking of ham… and Jones… they recently launched an online cookbook to celebrate their 125th anniversary. It’s completely gorgeous and full of really great recipes – including a few of mine! It’s so fun to see my recipes and photos in book format. If you love ham, bacon, sausage, or anything pork related, definitely go check it out!
Ham + Asparagus Picnic Sandwiches
For the dressing:
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1 teaspoon crushed dried rosemary
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon thyme
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes
- 1 pinch sea salt[br]
For the sandwiches:
- ½ pound asparagus
- 4 ciabatta rolls split
- 8 ounces Jones Dairy Farm® Ham Slices
- 2 ounces pecorino romano cheese shaved
- ½ small red onion sliced very thinly (about 1 cup)
- 4 roasted red peppers from a small jar
- 1 cup arugula
- Combine the dressing ingredients in a small bowl or jar. Set aside.
- Bring a shallow pot of water to a boil. Add the asparagus and cook 1 minute, or until they turn bright green. Drain and immediately run under cold water to stop the cooking process.
- Spread 2 teaspoons of dressing on the bottom half of each roll. Top with ham, cheese, onion, roasted red pepper, asparagus, and arugula. Cover with the top half of the roll.
I created this recipe for my client, Jones Dairy Farm. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the companies that help keep me inspired in the kitchen!