Recipe: brie fig apple prosciutto sandwich
It’s not like anyone needs a reason to come to Crested Butte, Colorado, but this past week was marked on our calendar months ago. It all began when Jeremy ran into our friend in line at a coffee shop last fall. Brad has a remarkable talent for conveying massive amounts of information in a ridiculously short amount of time with boundless enthusiasm. In the three minutes he chatted with Jeremy, Brad convinced him to take up ultra running (and he also discussed about a dozen other topics). The Summer GT (Grand Traverse) was held on Saturday starting in Crested Butte and ending in Aspen – the same 40-mile overland route that the Winter GT Ski Mountaineering race follows, but this time on foot or mountain bike. I asked Brad if he was planning to run the Summer GT, but that crazy man ran the Fat Dog 120 this weekend in British Columbia (120 miles, 29,000 feet of climb).
We’ve both been training since the local trails began melting out in April (although we continued backcountry skiing into late May – yeehaw!). Jeremy was training for the Grand Traverse, and I was just training for the heck of it. A few weeks before the GT, Jeremy developed runner’s knee. He discovered the hard way that running 20 miles on runner’s knee makes for much worse runner’s knee. He rested, iced, got a PT band, and tried to recover. Ultimately, he (correctly) determined that it would be unwise to run the GT this year. Instead, we took a week off from training and have been enjoying our time in wonderful Crested Butte.
i made chocolate mousse for our neighbors’ dinner party
great food, great wines, great friends
We’re not just wining and dining though. Summer is that magnificent ephemeral time in the mountains that should not be passed over if you can help it. The other day we went for a 17-mile hike to explore parts of the high country that were new to us. I call it the triple pass lollipop unicorn hike because it gains three mountain passes and the route in map view looks like a lollipop with a unicorn horn. Plus, the hike is worthy of a title like triple pass lollipop unicorn hike, because it’s full of All The Good Things. The views and terrain were absolutely stunning – even the parts where the trail disappeared. The wildflowers are full-on incredible above 12,000 feet right now.
climbing up out of copper creek valley
pass #1: triangle pass (12,800 ft.) with conundrum basin in the background (leading to aspen)
pass #2: copper pass (12,400 ft.)
alpine wildflowers and the maroon bells in the distance (also leading to aspen)
elephant heads standing out among the blooms
the wider view of the high country
pass #3: east maroon pass (11,800 ft.)
copper lake basin
After hours upon hours of beauty, adventure, and exertion, we arrive at the trailhead and begin the drive home. The start of the hike feels like it was yesterday. In the car, I’ll notice a mixture of dirt, sweat, and sunblock is plastered on my skin. We are thirsty, hungry, tired, dirty. We smell awful, too. Once home, the trail runners get the hose and deck treatment. Our filthy, stinky clothes go straight into the laundry basket by the door to avoid tracking dirt around the house. Then we each drink a biiiiiiiig glass of water (or two) to rehydrate ourselves and our joints. If we are gross beyond what we can tolerate, a shower is in order, otherwise I head straight to the refrigerator to make something to eat. Pretty much anything will taste fantastic after a big hike, but this sandwich is guaranteed to be taste ultra-fantastic.
prosciutto, arugula, ciabatta rolls, brie, fig jam, green apple
I originally had a version of this sandwich at Salto Coffee Works in our town of Nederland, Colorado. It’s called the Salto and had caramelized onions and roasted turkey instead of arugula and prosciutto. It was good, but I wanted something with a little more punch to it than roasted turkey. Because it’s a sandwich, it can be whatever you want it to be.
sliced granny smith apples
slicing the ciabatta roll
ready to assemble the sandwich
There are several elements to this sandwich to satisfy various cravings: the fatty, salty, slightly funky prosciutto; creamy, rich brie; sweet fig jam; tart green apple slices; spicy and lightly bitter arugula. All of it sandwiched between airy ciabatta rolls with that wonderful crisp crust. Are we missing anything? If so, just add whatever else you like and remove what you don’t like. I love how sandwiches are chill like that.
spread the fig jam
layer slices of apple and brie
don’t forget arugula
This result is akin to a mini cheeseboard stuffed into a sandwich, but it’s a delectable mini cheeseboard stuffed into a sandwich! It pairs well with a glass of wine (whichever wine you’d have with your mini cheeseboard), and it packs nicely on picnics, airplanes, cars, bike rides, or any place you’d have a craving for a most excellent sandwich. I’m tempted to name it the triple pass lollipop unicorn sandwich because it too has All The Good Things.
a toothpick helps to keep all of the awesomeness together
two toothpicks if you’re in the sharing mood
Brie Fig Apple Prosciutto Sandwich
inspired by Salto Coffee Works’ Salto sandwich
1-2 tbsps fig jam
3-4 slices Granny Smith apple
3-5 slices brie cheese
2-3 slices prosciutto
1/2 cup arugula
Slice the ciabatta roll in half to make a sandwich. Spread fig jam on the bottom slice of bread. Layer slices of Granny Smith apple over the fig jam. Place a single layer of brie cheese slices over the apple. Top the brie with prosciutto. Set the arugula on top of the prosciutto and cap the sandwich with the other half of the ciabatta roll. Makes 1 sandwich.
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