Food

A Ham-and-Cheese Sandwich Upgrade

Ham and butter baguette by Carla Lalli Music

What’s your favorite thing about springtime? Mine, without question, is getting to eat outside after hibernating all winter. To kick off a month of sandwiches, Bon Appetit food director Carla Lalli Music is sharing a delicious ham and cheese baguette that’s perfect for a picnic. Here’s how to make it…

Ham-and-Butter Baguette with Green Beans
From Carla Lalli Music’s Where Cooking Begins

One summer a couple of years ago, I started bringing bread and butter to the beach along with any cooked vegetables that were left over from dinner the night before. And that, my friends, is how I ended up sticking green beans into a sandwich for the first time. It would not be the last.

Recipe: Ham-and-butter baguette with green beans
Makes 2 generous servings

4 oz. thin green beans, stems trimmed
Flaky sea salt
1 baguette or 2 demi-baguettes
4 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp prepared horseradish
4 oz. thinly sliced ham
2 oz. Comté or Gruyère, shaved with a vegetable peeler

Bring a kettle of water to a boil. Put green beans in a shallow bowl or pie plate and pour hot water over them to cover. Let sit 5 minutes to soften, then drain and pat dry. Season with salt.

Split baguette lengthwise. Spread butter on both cut sides and season with salt. Spread mustard on one side and horseradish on the other. Drape ham onto bottom half, top with beans, then cheese. Firmly press sandwich closed before cutting crosswise.

Thank you so much, Carla! Your new cookbook is beautiful.

More recipes, including grilled cheese salad (!) and caramelized onion focaccia.

(Reprinted from Where Cooking Begins: Uncomplicated Recipes To Make You a Great Cook. Copyright © 2019 by Carla Lalli Music. Photographs copyright © 2019 Gentl and Hyers. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC. Franny Eremin is the editor of this series.)

  1. Rachel says...

    Yes, but who wrote this post? Which person on the COJ team has such strong opinions on the glory of eating outside? Help us know you!

  2. Nina says...

    such an interesting way to make green beans. I will try it.

  3. RP says...

    Oooft, will definitely be recreating these for my partner’s birthday picnic next week. Early in the relationship she literally said me ‘I find it so inconvenient how you have to eat regularly, it gets in the way of doing so many more interesting things!’ but over the years has developed a soft spot for watching my joy in trying new recipes/techniques/flavour combinations. Only change I’ll make here is to use salted butter and to not salt the beans as I’m a friend for salted butter and can’t stand the insulated stuff, even heavily disguised under lots of lovely mustard and horse radish.

    • Nina says...

      I’ve been doing Intermittent and Extended Fasting and its amazing how much time is saved and can be spent on more important things now. so I kinda agree with your partner.

  4. Scarlett says...

    The green beans are weird to me, I’d rather have arugula or something. Otherwise 👌🏻 (says the woman who ate an entire baguette herself for dinner last night)

  5. LPD says...

    Love Carla… and all the gang at Bon Appetit. Did you see their April Fools video? Awesome!

  6. Darby says...

    One of the vendors at our local market makes a delicious baguette sandwich- butter, tuna, sliced hard boiled eggs, olives, tomato, lettuce, and I think some Dijon… it is so good! I think it is the buttered baguette that really makes it.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Yes!!!! It’s the butter. The grocer by our old office had buttered baguettes a cheese and it was amazing. Just butter plus cheese = perfection.

    • Nina says...

      When I stayed in Germany for several months our Aunt would send us to school with buttered (unsalted) bread (fresh she got every morning from the baker) with bars of chocolate. I thought it was oh so weird and would always trade with the german students for their bread with butter and salami. but I can still taste it and love it as an adult. prefer salted though. funnily enough my son, age 11, does not like butter. plain toast. won’t eat pancakes with it. so odd….

    • Alice says...

      wait… in the US, do you not butter the bread for sandwiches!?! Here in the UK we put butter on all sandwiches… it would make me so sad not to have it!

    • lindsay says...

      my favorite summer lunch! I actually love it with good EVOO plus herbs like parsley and basil plus garlic.
      But ever since I lived in France for a bit 15 years ago, I have put butter on my ham baguette sandwiches, it is so yummy

  7. Laken B. says...

    Yum! I’ve always been a pickle lover and I just realized that cucumbers are maybe the least flavorful vegetable pickled. I’ve started putting pretty much any pickled vegetable on my sandwiches (green beans included, obv). Pickled carrots and radishes have been the stand outs!

  8. AG says...

    This is the most genius way to cook green beans I have ever heard.

  9. I think I would splash some vinegar on those hot green beans first before sticking them in a sammich. . .

  10. Emily says...

    Bit of a green bean theme this week, eh? (necklace in the other post)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Hahahaha you’re right!

  11. KS says...

    COOKED. GREEN. BEANS. in a sandwich already got my attention (I really can’t even imagine how this’ll taste but am curious to try!) but the comments have got me more shook up – do most people not butter their sandwiches anyway??!

    • Lula says...

      I know, right?! I’m reading these thinking – why are these savages not buttering their sandwiches?!?!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      @lula hahahahaha

    • A says...

      Right? I am in England and have never heard of NOT buttering a sandwich! Do Americans just put the ingredients straight on to dry bread?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Yes!!!! My English family puts butter on all sandwiches but in America you’d do mustard or mayo — rarely butter especially if you’re also doing cheese or peanut butter etc.

    • KS says...

      Phew, glad it wasn’t just me agog at that! British here too, but have American relatives (who I will now never look at the same way again). Even if I’ve added mustard/horseradish to the bread the butter still goes on! But I definitely don’t butter my PB sandwiches, though my (English) partner does – eughhh.
      Also: went and bought green beans today, just so I can make this recipe for lunch tomorrow!

  12. June says...

    My favourite French sandwich:
    Baguette
    Room temp unsalted butter
    Thick slices of Brie
    Cornichons

    Perfection

    • sarah morabito says...

      I just made this for lunch with Gjusta bread and OMG mind blown! the simplicity!

  13. Susana says...

    I got so excited to see Carla Lalli Music featured on Cup of Jo! I am such a fan of all the BA test kitchen peeps from Youtube!

  14. Wendy says...

    Butter on a sandwich reminds me of my grandmother. I have sometimes buttered my sandwiches but it never tastes quite the same as when my grandmother did it.

  15. Sasha L says...

    Here’s a fun sandwich my husband invented last weekend:
    Sourdough
    Sliced cheese, he used Muenster
    Kettle salt and vinegar chips
    Grill up with lots of butter, grilled cheese style, but use two slices of cheese and stuff in a few chips in between.
    It’s weird but so so good!

    The origin of this cleverness: leftover chips from making a cheater Spanish tortilla. Six eggs, 1/3 a bag of chips, salt, fry up in skillet in olive oil, flip, and voila, a super delicious Spanish tortilla in no time! I serve with slices of salted tomato and some cheese and sourdough.

    • Kitty says...

      You can get an amazing cheese slicer at ikea that is made in Sweden so comproble to a fancy Scandinavian one for under $10. It makes perfect thin slices of cheese.

    • Sasha L says...

      That’s going on my next-trip-to-Ikea shopping list Kitty! Thank you!

  16. Ashley says...

    ha! Agree, but I’m thinking about trying with a sliced sourdough…
    Looks delicious, butter and green beans on a sandwich? Yes please. But oh to be eating it on the beach… why does everything always taste better when eaten at the beach?

  17. Sarah says...

    I would love to make this (counting down the days to picnic season here in Boston) but def have reservations about the green beans— not for the taste, but for the size. One of my pet peeves is when you bite into a sandwich and all the little bits fall out! Maybe I am just a Bad Sandwich Eater, but I feel like I’m constantly shoving shredded lettuce, halved cherry tomatoes, or julienned carrots into rough sandwich pockets or meat folds, trying to prevent the inevitable from happening: biting down too hard with firm bread and everything (covered in spread, naturally) exploding out the back of the sandwich and into my lap.

    Maybe if I don’t slice the bread all the way and line up the green beans? I love Carla AND sandwiches so I will try to find a way :)

    • C. says...

      For the same reasons that you list I would chop up the green beans into bite sized pieces.

    • Heather says...

      Boston? Have you tried the sandwiches at Darwin’s in Cambridge?! SO GOOD and worth the trip if you happen to be hungry – or like sandwiches!
      https://darwinsltd.com/

    • Sarah says...

      Heather, yes!! Darwin’s is my go-to for picnic sandwiches when I buy them! With a bag of chips on the side, naturally :)

    • Abbe says...

      Hiiii fellow (recent) Bostonian here — I’ve never heard of Darwin’s! Will be checking them out shortly once the weather is actually warm enough to merit eating outside (sigh).

  18. Meredith says...

    This is all of my favorite things cuddled up in my favorite bread. This kind of quality content is why I haven’t completely given up on the Internet yet. Thank you, Cup of Jo, for being a bastion of wholesome beauty in a chaotic world. *kissy face emoji*

  19. Jessica says...

    There is a traditional Chilean sandwich called a “chacarero” in which green beans are an essential ingredient. I first had it in Boston at the eponymous Chacarero, and my husband and I learned to make that at home when we moved to San Francisco because we missed them so much. There are many recipes for them out there, but I follow the formula on the Chacarero website: http://www.chacarero.com/about/ (they reference a secret recipe, which I think is their special hot sauce – I just use whatever hot sauce I have on hand). Anyway, that’s how I ended up sticking green beans on a sandwich for the first time. :)

    • Leigh says...

      I went to college at Northeastern, and when I saw the picture I immediately thought…Chacerero! Glad to hear I’m not the only one who misses those amazing sandwiches! :)

    • Maggie says...

      Yes yes yes to Chacareros in Boston!

    • Caroline says...

      I live in Chile, and this is the best sandwich ever! Usually they serve it with meat, tomatos, lots of green beans, and for the top part of the bread: mayo and ají verde. I always add avocado 🤤

  20. Liz says...

    I love unexpected things on sandwiches. One time I had leftover roasted vegetables and added them to a turkey sandwich. It was delicious.

  21. Claire says...

    Looks delicious! and what a good idea!
    I guess it might also work to mince up other cooked vegetables and use those in this way as well…leftover broccoli or Brussel sprouts maybe?

  22. Kate says...

    “2 oz. Comté or Gruyère, shaved with a vegetable peeler”
    This alone will change my life! I never thought of that for getting those perfect cheese shavings!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Same!!

    • Charity says...

      Never mind the vegetable peeler, 2 oz of Comté would change my life right now. 😂

  23. Lesley says...

    I am here for the addition of butter to this sandwich recipe. I will be trying this soon!

    • Veronica Aguirre says...

      Same!

  24. Anne says...

    This seems like one of those sandwiches that looks beautiful but is so much work to chew

    • Mel says...

      hahaha my thoughts exactly

    • Amanda says...

      Haha agreed! I almost always love a good chewy baguette, but not for sandwiches!!

    • Denise says...

      I agree but a softer bread would still work. Maybe ciabatta? Yum!

    • Olivia says...

      I love baguette sandwiches, but always eat them open face for just this reason.

    • Sasha L says...

      Also, really thick sandwich+very crusty bread=torn up mouth for me. I like thinly sliced sourdough instead or open faced and eat with a fork. And lots of mashed avocado, pesto, Mayo, anything to soften up the bread and make it less dangerous 😉