This recipe for Turkey and Pea Shoots with Herbed Cream Cheese originally appeared at FoodPolitic.
I’ve mentioned my love of sandwiches previously, but it’s worth repeating. I love sandwiches. Sometimes I like to sit around and think about what elements make a sandwich great: Soft, chewy bread, high-quality meats and cheese, fresh, crunchy vegetables and some sort of delicious sauce or spread (or both) to bring it all together. My latest masterpiece, Turkey and Pea Shoots with Herbed Cream Cheese, is so good it nearly didn’t end up on my blog at all. I had to exercise all available willpower to keep myself from eating it before snapping a few photos.
Great bread is the foundation of any winning sandwich. There are lots of fantastic options depending on where you’re headed with your lunch, but in this case I went with a soft, pre-sliced multigrain bread from Trader Joe’s. The herbed cream cheese, spread thickly on each slice of bread, is adapted from a version The Pioneer Woman uses for tortilla rollups. It’s so fresh and flavorful, you’ll want to make a batch for bagels, too. For the herbed cream cheese, I like to buy the whipped cream cheese for two reasons. First, it’s easier to mix. Second, you can pour the whole lot into a bowl, add your herbs and spices, and then return it to the container for storage. If you are using it all immediately for sandwiches, this isn’t a fun feature. But if you are making a batch to keep on hand, you may as well use the storage container from the cream cheese. It works splendidly!
Once you’ve slathered your bread in cream cheese, layer slices of turkey on one half. Top with tomato slices, and for extra flavor, season those with salt and pepper, too. Now comes the winning ingredient, the final touch, the proverbial cherry on top: Pea shoots. Pea shoots are crunchy yet sweet with all the flavor you’d expect from the plant bearing those little green gems. They are bright and colorful and taste like spring on your sandwich. I find it easiest to layer them on my sandwich after I’ve cut it in half, but feel free to experiment with what works for you.
A few practical notes on pea shoots: I buy them from my local farmer’s market, but they are often available at Asian food markets as well or other high-end grocery stores. Store them in your refrigerator in an open plastic bag, wrapped in paper towels, and use them within the first couple of days. They are very delicate, so try to enjoy their fresh flavors as soon as possible. They are also excellent on salads.
And there you have it: One of the tastiest sandwiches you’ll ever eat. It was certainly the best sandwich I’ve ever made in my own kitchen.
- 1 (8 oz.) container whipped cream cheese
- 1 T. chopped fresh basil leaves
- 1 T. chopped fresh parsley
- 1 T. sliced scallions
- 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- 8 slices high-quality whole-grain or multi-grain bread
- 1 lb. deli turkey or sliced roasted turkey
- 2 large tomatoes, cored and thinly sliced
- 4 oz. fresh pea sprouts
- In a small bowl, combine cream cheese, basil, parsley, scallions, lemon juice, ½ tsp. salt, and ¼ tsp. pepper. Chill at least 30 minutes to blend flavors.
- To assemble the sandwiches, spread about 1 T. herbed cream cheese on each slice of bread. On each of four of the bread slices, layer 4 oz. turkey and 2 slices of tomato. Season the tomatoes with ⅛ tsp. salt and a pinch of pepper.
- Divide the pea sprouts evenly among the 4 sandwiches, using about 1 oz. on each sandwich. Top with remaining bread slices spread with herbed cream cheese and serve.