Spinach sandwiches were a favorite of mine when I was a kid. My mom used to make them all the time and I still make them now, not just with spinach, but with all kinds of greens. What’s so special? It’s the way the crispy bread — an essential element — soaks up the garlicky spinach juices and olive oil. All you need is spinach (or escarole, or broccoli rabe — whatever). Saute some garlic and a little hot pepper in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, add your greens and salt to taste. Cover and simmer until tender. That’s it! Stuff the greens into a hunk of crisp Italian bread and don’t forget to spoon on the juices for a drippy and delicious sandwich.
Sometimes I vary my spinach sandwich by using toasted sliced bread and serving it open faced. It’s really good with a poached or fried egg on top. The garlic may be more than you want to face for a breakfast sandwich, but it makes a great brunch or lunch. You can further gild the lily with a little grated Parmigiano-Reggiano sprinkled over the top. Which brings me to my other favorite way to eat a spinach sandwich, skipping the eggs and topping the greens with a tangy cheese like Asiago, or a fresh pecorino, melted briefly under the broiler.