Rye Bread Sandwich with a Calf Tongue and Italian Salsa Verde

January 29, 2018


Author Notes: Would you like a rustic lunch, made from scratch, with very few ingredients so that you can taste every part of it without putting your palate in a jungle of flavors and textures? I am offering you a slice of fresh rye bread with a tender calf tongue and a tangy salsa verde. Please pour some red wine into your glass and enjoy a simple meal.

Okay, to reach that point where you sit down to enjoy your sandwich and wine would take you 24 hours from the moment you decide to do so. But! The great thing about preparing this authentic meal is that it requires only 20 minutes of your actual involvement. Devote 5 minutes to bread, 5 minutes to a calf tongue and 10 minutes to a salsa verde. The rest is a magic of temperature and time.
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Serves: 6

Ingredients

For the bread

  • 2 cups Flour, all-purpose unbleached
  • 1 cup Flour, dark rye
  • 1 teaspoon Yeast, active dry
  • 1/2 tablespoon Salt
  • 1 tablespoon Poppy seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon Oregano, dry
  • 1/2 teaspoon Thyme, dry
  • 1 1/2 cups Water

For the calf tongue and salsa verde

  • 1 Calf tongue (~1.2 lb)
  • 1 Carrot
  • 1 Onion
  • 1 bunch Parsley, fresh (~5 oz)
  • 3 sprigs Cilantro
  • 2 Bread slices (~3 oz)
  • 2 Eggs, hard-boiled
  • 1 teaspoon Capers
  • 1/4 cup White wine vinegar
  • 1.3 cups Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Garlic clove
  • Salt to taste
In This Recipe

Directions

  1. Step 1. Bread. In a deep bowl mix wheat and rye flour, salt, and yeast. Add 1 1/2 cup of warm water to the dry ingredients. Slightly mix. Do not mix thoroughly. Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap. Place the bowl in a warm place of the kitchen and forget about it for 19-20 hours. 20 hours later drop the bread dough onto the kitchen towel generously dusted with flour. The dough is sticky. Lot’s of flour is good. You will also notice that dough is not homogeneous: dry lumps and liquidy areas. It’s fine. Now you will need to fold the dough three times (help yourself with the kitchen towel under the dough): (1) first, sprinkle with the poppy seeds on top and fold; (2) slightly press the dough with your hand, sprinkle oregano on top and fold again; (3) slightly press the dough, sprinkle thyme on top, fold for the last time, and cover the dough with the ends of a kitchen towel. Forget about the dough for another 2 hours. Preheat the oven to 450F two hours later. Place the deep baking dish in the hot oven to warm up, for 3-5 minutes. Drop the bread dough in the hot baking dish dusted with the flour. Sprinkle the dough with coarse salt. Cover the dish with the lid (or aluminum foil) and bake for 30 minutes. The dish should be deep enough to allow the bread rise without sticking to the lid. Remove the lid and let the dough bake for 10-15 minutes more until the crust nicely browns. Bread is ready.
  2. Step 2. Calf Tongue. Bring water to a boil in a large pot. Place the calf tongue, frozen or chilled, into the pot with the boiling water. Add a few stems of parsley (cut stems from parsley prepared for salsa verde), a whole carrot and onion with the skin to the pot. Cover the pot with a lid and let it simmer on medium temperature for 75 – 90 minutes. (check the readiness of the tongue by pricking the thickest part with a fork. The tongue is ready when it is soft through). Once the tongue is cooked, remove the pot from the stove. Fill a deep bowl with cold water and place the cooked tongue fully into the water. Pull and remove the skin from the tongue. The skin is removed easily. Return the calf tongue into the pot with the broth. Generously add salt to the broth, cover with the lid and let the tongue stay in the hot broth until you are ready to eat. (You can use the broth later for the soup of your choice)
  3. Step 3. Salsa Verde. Soak the bread slices in wine vinegar for a few minutes. Cut the stems from parsley and cilantro and discard (or use for something else later). Combine all ingredients for salsa verde in a food processor and run the processor until a smooth sauce is formed. Add salt to your taste. Place salsa verde in the fridge until ready to serve.
  4. Step 4. Time to eat. Slice the bread and tongue thinly. Spread some salsa verde on top. Pour a drink of your choice and enjoy!

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