The Playful Plateful

By Kate Pluth '12, Copy Editor

Here we are. We have made it to the other side of our four-week hibernation period between semesters. If you’re like me, your appetite for a fresh, home- cooked meal was well satiated during those weeks. Maybe you even went on a few other culinary adventures, testing a new recipe in your kitchen or going to a restaurant and selecting a menu item outside your comfort zone. You may also be a tad reluctant to return to dining halls that, despite their best efforts, fail to entice on a regular basis.

For better or worse, we have left our culinary adventures behind for a return to campus life. And I, for one, refuse to disappoint my taste buds! As we settle in for our spring, I’ll be tapping the pulse of food in Claremont. In this new column, you may find dining hall strategies, dorm-friendly recipes, restaurant reviews or news updates on food in our area.

Without further ado, I’d like to share one of the better dining hall creations that has become a standby when I’m tired of grilled cheese and “allergy free” chicken. Kelsey Poppe (’12) discovered that the asiago cheese bread by the dessert station in Malott Commons provides the perfect foundation for a panini. Thanks to Poppe (whose name is pronounced like the leader of the Catholic church), we have a new option for our grilled cheese cravings: the Poppe Sandwich. To make this noontime delight, you may find yourself circling the dining hall a bit, but it’s worth every step.

The Poppe Sandwich

2 slices asiago cheese bread 1 or 2 slices provolone cheese Baby spinach Pesto spread Balsamic vinegar

Assemble the sandwich by folding the provolone to fit the size of the bread, and put on as much spinach as you like. Spread the pesto on one of the bread slices. With the balsamic, you have the choice of either drizzling it over the spinach or the other bread slice. Then, head over the panini press and grill it until the cheese has melted and the bread is blanketed in golden streaks. Enjoy with a salad, fries, fruit, whatever. Or, make two of them—the sandwich will be on the small side due to the size of the bread loaves.

As you will discover, this sandwich is good enough that it can satisfy almost every day of the week. As you may also discover, the availability of the asiago cheese bread has been on the decline since last year, when it was served every day. If you like this sandwich as much as Ms. Poppe and I do, get on those comment cards and let’s bring back the bread! Then we can all eat like popes.

As my buddy Voltaire once said, “Nothing would be more tiresome than eating and drinking if God had not made them a pleasure as well as a necessity.” I’ll do my best to please you, Scripps.