Although my mother really did not cook, she was an avid collector of cookbooks. She loved to read through the various recipes and learn how the decadent dishes were prepared even though she had no desire to actually prepare any of them.
Well, there was one exception to this “no cooking” rule that mom had imposed. It came in the early 1980’s when she and my father were attending an engagement party for my uncle (Dad’s brother) in New Orleans. They served an amazing tea sandwich made from spinach. Mom and dad proceeded to spend the remainder of the party eating these little triangles of bread and determine the ingredients.
Once she was home, Mom went into the kitchen to try to recreate those tasty delights. And, to all of our delight, her recipe for Spinach Sandwiches became a family favorite. My brother, who HATES mayonnaise, even likes them!
But even better than pleasing the family, Mom decided to submit her recipe to Southern Living magazine. In March of 1985, it was published as part of an article entitled, “Spruce Up Meals With Fresh Spinach”. An excerpt from the article reads, “If you like spinach raw, try Fresh Spinach Sandwiches. Barbara Beard of Greenwell Springs, Louisiana, serves these popular sandwiches when she wants to keep the menu cool and light.” I can remember like it was yesterday how thrilled my mom was with her newfound claim to fame.
I will share our slightly modified version of the originally published recipe.
FRESH SPINACH SANDWICHES
1 ½ pounds fresh spinach
¾ cup mayonnaise
¾ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon garlic salt
12 slices white wheat bread
½ pound bacon, cooked and crumbled
Remove stems from spinach; wash leaves thoroughly. Drain; finely chop, and set aside.
Combine mayonnaise, pepper and garlic salt; stir well. Lightly toast bread, if desired. Spread mayonnaise mixture evenly over each slice of bread. Top half of slices with spinach and bacon; place remaining slices of bread, mayonnaise mixture side down, over spinach mixture to make a sandwich. Cut into halves or wedges; secure with wooden picks.
Barbara Beard, Greenwell Springs, Louisiana.
Published in Southern Living 1985 Annual Recipes page 59