A lot of things stick with me from our time living in Brazil. Much of it is related to food.
As simple as it is, probably the most prominent of these is rucula e tomate seco. I think the first time we had it was on a pizza, then I found it as a sandwich.
Arugula and sundried tomatoes aren’t uncommon in the States, of course. I had just never had the two together, and it’s a rather brilliant combination. The peppery arugula and the sweet tomatoes go so well together.
It’s the sandwich that I think of most. Sandwiches were hard to get used to in Brazil. At that point, we were trained to want subs. Big sandwiches, loaded with ingredients.
And a sandwich always has a side, right? Chips, fries, at least a pickle. I can still remember one of my husband’s coworkers who frequented Brazil saying something similar to, how weird is it that you don’t get anything with sandwiches here?
I was glad we weren’t the only ones that had noticed.
These days, after being back in the U.S. for nearly 10 years, I’d trade my side without question if someone could make me my favorite rucula e tomate seco sandwich like I had at our small sandwich shop there.
I did try to make it at home once while we were still living there. As an open-faced sandwich.
Click that link at your own risk. Like most food bloggers, I cringe at my old photos. I think most blogging gurus would tell me to update those images, but I say no way. When I look back at that post, and I see the plates that food is on, I know I did that post when we lived abroad.
Those memories are more important to me than making it more attractive. No offense to my readers, of course. But you gotta remember where you came from and how much you’ve grown, right?
So with that sandwich in mind, I decided to keep the flavor combo and head a different direction. When we were in Hollywood a few weeks back, we managed to find a lovely little lunch spot and they had all kinds of tostadas on their starter menu. It gave me an idea.
Normally, I might try to make my own tostada shells. This basically involves tossing some tortillas under the broiler. If there is one thing we are not short on in the Central Valley, though, it’s any form of a tortilla. I even found baked tostadas so I picked those up to bring the idea to life.
I made the spread similar to my last attempt, but I added both sour cream and some whole milk to make it a bit creamier and spreadable.
I, for one, love this favorite recreated. The tostada version is as delicious as the sandwich. It’s a bit more fun (and prettier) too. And now that I have both the arugula and tomatoes in the house, I feel a pizza coming on soon.
Arugula Sundried Tomato Tostadas
Makes 6 tostadas
What you’ll need:
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons whole milk
1/3 cup finely chopped sundried tomatoes
3 green onions, whites finely chopped, greens sliced
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, or to taste
1 1/2 cups arugula
6 tostada shells
How to make it:
Place the cream cheese and sour cream in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Mix on low and then increase to high for 1 minute, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing on medium in between for about 10 seconds. Add 1/4 cup sundried tomatoes and the chopped whites of the onions. Mix on high for 1 minute, until it is smooth and spreadable. Add the salt to taste.
Spread an equal amount of the cream cheese over each tostada. Sprinkle the remaining chopped sundried tomatoes over the top and then the sliced greens of the onions. Finish by sprinkling arugula leaves over each tostada and serve.