Sandwiched: Sesame-Crusted Feta and Fig Jam in a Pita


The greatest column since sliced bread.


Figgin' delicious. [Photograph: María del Mar Sacasa]



Tips and tricks for making the best sandwiches at home.

I know I gravitate towards all things pork, and often I hear readers wanting something vegetarian. I'm trying! It's just that the scent of bacon is like a siren song, beckoning.

In any case, this is a completely meat-free sandwich that is absolutely stupendous. I had some sesame-crusted, fried feta pieces in Greektown in Chicago years ago as a Northwestern student. The cheese had a pebbly, delicately crunchy exterior that gave way to a warm, creamy, velvety interior. This week, I was toying with a chilled feta and watermelon salad, but all of a sudden, recalled the Greektown special.

In this recipe, feta slices are set in the freezer for 15 minutes, which allows them to hold up during coating and frying. Not to worry, the cheese will warm and slightly melt whilst it cooks. The frozen cheese is dipped in beaten eggs, then dredged in a combination of sesame seeds, bright and hot Aleppo pepper flakes, and lemony ground coriander.

There's more. Plump, sultry figs are for the getting in the produce aisle and what more natural pairing than ripe fruit and briny cheese? I quickly cook the figs in butter, fresh oregano leaves, and honey to make a quick jam-like mixture that melts and oozes with the crisp cheese. For a final punch of flavor, that ties everything together with a figurative birthday present bow: small, salty, tart olives are tucked into pita pockets along with the other ingredients.