Spring for me is all about salad greens. All the little tender baby greens I see at the Greenmarket have me excited. But my absolute favorite is arugula. I love it for its characteristic slight bitter and peppery flavor. I use it in salads tossed with citrus vinaigrette or in sandwiches—one of my favorite ways to enjoy arugula. Its unique flavor is an ideal complement to the classic ham and brie sandwich. It's one of those popular sandwiches that you'll find on most café and restaurant menus, but always made with some sort of twist.
I've had countless ham and brie sandwiches over the years, but the one I've come up with here is my favorite and it includes my twist, arugula. First, I spread one side of the sandwich with apricot preserve and the other with grain mustard. Finally I pack on the brie, ham, and arugula. This sandwich explodes with flavors of sweet, savory, peppery, and tangy. So skip the café, because this sandwich is easy enough to make yourself and it packs nicely for a picnic or work lunch.
Ham and Brie Sandwich with Arugula
3 tablespoons apricot preserves
6 ounces brie, sliced
3/4 pound thinly sliced deli ham, such as Black Forest or Virginia
3 ounces baby arugula
3 tablespoons Dijon grain mustard
Slice baguette lengthwise and crosswise into 3 or 4 sandwich portions. Toast lightly in a toaster or toaster oven. Spread bottoms with apricot preserves. Top with brie slices. Add ham over brie. Pack arugula on top of ham. Spread bread tops with mustard and place on top of sandwich. Yield: 3 or 4 sandwiches.