Food for Thought

A Collage Supper

Collage is a technique of composing a work of art by pasting on a single surface various materials not normally associated with one another.

I keep a pair of long, pointed tweezers in my kitchen to use to create these sandwiches, but a steady hand will do.

TO START:

  • thin-slice day-old very good Italian or French bread; German pumpernickel also works and doesn't have to be day-old
  • cut into bite size pieces and line up breads on a serving platter in neat rows

ASSEMBLE:

  • cream cheese, softened chevre, mayonnaise, mustard, butter, any or all, or any substitutes
  • salt, pepper, dried dill, dried oregano, paprika, any or all, plus other things you may wish to include
  • fresh herbs, any or all varieties, lime, lemon
  • leftover salad stuff - carrot, lettuce, red cabbage, endive, cucumber, tomato, any or all, plus whatever you have
  • fish, cheese, meat, tofu, hard-boiled eggs, egg salad, any or all, plus
  • capers, sundried tomatoes, pickled Italian peppers, olive tapenades, any or all, plus

CREATE:

  • spread the cream cheese or whatever you choose, like glue on a row of breads
  • add the main ingredient of your choice
  • add the salad always thinking about colors and textures
  • add a few spices, chopped herbs, sprinkle on top. also add capers or a small slice of carrot, or a very thin slice of lemon or lime

REMEMBER:

  • make all collages identical in each row; create the design first, then proceed
    with the row
  • change the colors, tastes and textures and finish each of the rest of the rows; itís important to make at least each row with all the same sandwiches; if every collage sandwich is different the platter will look too busy
  • you can make a whole separate platter for each design - the sandwiches look nice as multiples
  • if you need to make the sandwiches in advance, cover each tray with a damp linen napkin placed gently on top of the collages; refrigerate until serving
  • allow time to correct the collages before serving
  • work on each collage on a plate separate form the platter so that nothing leaks or spills on the platter as you assemble
  • wipe your hands on a wet cloth frequently to keep the designs clean
  • keep the tastes in mind but think about the shapes and colors first.
  • experiment
  • make a feast for the eyes