A truly excellent sandwich combination is one of our favorite types of lunches. Well toasted bread, melted cheese, crispy greens and other fun additions such as roasted pears and flavorful Dijon mustard. It all comes together so deliciously but, as we all know, a good sandwich needs a crunchy side. Everybody loves potato chips but why not popcorn? It’s our favorite crunchy snack, after all. So our choice for an excellent flavor combo is a pear and brie sandwich with popcorn.
Not just plain popcorn, though. We definitely feel like a savory seasoning compliments this lunch idea. Any of our savory options would work here like buttery garlic, white cheddar or even dill pickle seasoning. How fun would that be? But for this delicate sandwich, our favorite pairing is with our salt and vinegar seasoning. It hits just the right note with the sweet pears and peppery arugula.
We like a seedy bread for this but a crispy baguette would also work. There’s not much that wouldn’t go well with a baguette, after all. The choice of pear is up to you but we used Bartlett for its soft texture and sweet flesh. If you choose something like a firm Bosc, you have the option to place the slices in the oven for a few minutes ahead of time to get a head start on softening them up.
We’re going to insist on the brie cheese, though. It’s a cow’s milk cheese with a soft texture and the name comes from the French region where it originated. It has a pale color and white rind which is edible but slightly bitter. You can cut it off or leave it on for the sandwich. The relatively high percentage of fat in brie gives it a creamy texture and good melting ability. You’d mostly expect to find it spread on a cracker and served with a glass of champagne at a good cocktail party. But it’s too good to relegate to just appetizers. This cheese deserves an invitation to lunch.
Combining it with sweet pears is nothing new. It’s a great flavor pairing. But instead of flimsy crackers, we’re putting it on proper bread, toasting it and adding extra flavor with the strong Dijon and the arugula. You can use a milder green if you prefer but we think the pears can stand up to the peppery arugula flavor. Drizzling on some honey is optional but really good.
Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.
Place all four pieces of bread on a baking sheet. Spread two of the slices with butter and top those two with slices of the brie cheese. Core the pear (peeling is optional) and slice thinly. Place the slices on top of the brie cheese.
Place the baking sheet in the oven for about 10 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the bread has toasted.
Spread the two unbuttered slices of bread with the Dijon mustard. Top the brie and pear slices with arugula and then with the mustard spread bread slices. Drizzle with honey if desired.
Serve with popcorn and salt and vinegar seasoning.
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