Pesto Peppered Steak Sandwich

For the longest time, I was a self-appointed sandwich hater.  Going into a Subway was torture for me because I would inevitably leave smelling like Subway. I never really thought about getting creative with sandwiches. I just assumed sandwiches always had to be two regular pieces of white bread sanwiched together with some combination of condiments and meat. Don’t get me wrong, I always had a soft spot in my heart for peanut butter & jelly (and still do for that matter), but for the most part I steered clear of sandwiches.   

When I finally came to my senses five years ago, I quickly realized what I had been missing. There are a wealth of combinations ranging from the super simple to the extremely elaborate. I mean there are now food trucks and full-blown restaurants that specialize in only gourmet sandwiches. Apparently sandwiches are a pretty big deal.
And while they still aren’t my go-to lunch, they do make an appearance around my house every so often for a quick supper. I don’t like to fill them up too much because I want to be able to bite into them, but I do think a few specialized condiments and meats are the perfect accompaniment to a fresh golden roll.
Take for instance this pesto peppered beef sandwich we had for dinner a few nights ago.  It was delicious, but more importantly, it was easy. Wes discovered some extremely finely cut pieces of meat at Central Market this weekend that were just begging to be seared. 

Not too many frills, perfectly soft and sweet rolls, and a garlicky pesto really made this sandwich sing.

Pesto Peppered Steak Sandwich

1/2 pound peppered beef, finely cut
1 batch homemade pesto
1/2 cup fresh spinach leaves
4 large slices fresh Monterrey jack cheese
4 fresh Challah Rolls, halved
1 tbsp butter

On a grill pan, quickly sear the meat, about a minute per side.  Remove from grill and set aside.

Smear butter on each half of the rolls and place on the grill for about a minute, until they are toasty and golden.  Remove from the pan and layer on cheese, pesto, meat and spinach leaves. Top with the other half of the roll and serve.

You are probably thinking that the challah roll was a weird choice for a dinner sandwich.  But the sweetness of the roll worked really well with the savory pesto and beef. It also held up well to the grill pan and resulted in very little sliding out of the sandwich. This is very important to me. It is so frustrating to be eating a sandwich that just can’t hold up to the juice or condiments inside of it and you end up having half the ingredients slide out of the bread. You know what I mean?

Or am I just weird?

Regardless, I’m looking forward to all sorts of creative sandwiches on these challah rolls. Maybe one of these days I’ll actually try making them from scratch… But until then, Central Market has got me covered.

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