(Cafe) Barcelona Soup and Sandwich

Sandwich and SaladOne of the things I really enjoy about cooking is trying to recreate restaurant meals.  Sometimes I even think that I’ve gotten a recipe just a little bit better than the original – but that’s probably because I believe the best meals are those made and eaten at home.

This quick and easy salad-and-sandwich combination was inspired by a delicious lunch shared with my mom, dad and Kel during a recent trip to Marco Island, Florida.  We cooked most of our meals at our rental house, but found this vegan-friendly restaurant right in the heart of Naples.  The food was simple and very fresh and the company couldn’t be beat.

I eliminated the olive oil in both the sandwich and the salad – they just don’t need it!  And I created a kind of chopped salad for the sandwich filling rather than keeping the ingredients whole.  I thought it would be easier to eat that way (plus you get a bit of everything in every bite), but it turns out, this sandwich is just messy.  Serve it open-faced if you aren’t eating this with family!

One year ago today: Best Friends Forever: Soup & A Sandwich
One year and one day ago today: Earl of Chai: Another Drink from the Slow Cooker

Cafe Barcelona Veggie Sandwich
Serves 2

1 baguette
1 roasted pepper, chopped
2 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
6 Spanish olives, chopped
a couple of slices of red onion, chopped
lemon zest
ground black pepper

Cut the baguette in two and then slice each piece in half.  Set aside.

In a bowl, combine the roasted pepper, lettuce, olives, red onion, lemon zest and black pepper.  Divide the mixture between the baguette slices.

Salad and Sandwich collage

Cafe Barcelona Wilted Spinach Salad with Pine Nuts, Apple and Golden Raisins
Serves 2

5 oz. fresh baby spinach
1/4 cup golden raisins
1 oz. pine nuts
1/2 tart-sweet apple, cored and chopped
splash veggie broth
splash fresh lemon juice

Lightly brown the pine nuts, raisins and apple in a dry skillet.  Stir often to prevent burning.  Add a splash of vegetable broth and put the spinach in the pan, turning to gently wilt it.

Turn off the heat and remove the pan from the burner and splash the spinach with lemon juice.  Stir and divide the mixture between two plates.

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34 thoughts on “(Cafe) Barcelona Soup and Sandwich

  1. Sophie33 says:

    What a tasty lunch, I say! I love the spinach salad combined with the tasty filled baguette too! This looks like Sunshine food & I need that in my life right now because it was snowing last night,…Stilll! :(

    • An Unrefined Vegan says:

      Funny – everyone is complaining about the cold. I guess we’re all being hit with a last blast of winter. Bring on the sun!

  2. Bridget says:

    Warm weather food. Hope we get some soon…warm weather that is…followed by delicious food like this.

    • An Unrefined Vegan says:

      We need some warm weather, too, Bridget! We had a sneak peek of warm weather and then – boom! – cold again.

  3. Angela @ Canned Time says:

    How lucky to find a Vegan restaurant there. I can hardly find them here in a city :(
    I love the simple ingredients here, my kind of food. And the salad sounds so flavorful, to be honest (I hate when people say that, sorry, like you wanted them to lie to you) I would probably prefer the salad ingredients on the bread too. I LOVE a good crusty bread and I love salads with light touches of dressing. Messy is good. It usually means it tastes great ;0
    Have a question about my waffle experiment but I’ll catch you on FB for that.

    Safe travels XXX

    • An Unrefined Vegan says:

      I agree – simple food is the best. So often we mask the flavor of the ingredients with lots of sauces or spices.

      Hehe, you just nailed one of Kel’s pet peeves (starting a sentence w/ “honestly”) – but sometimes it works.

  4. tearoomdelights says:

    That sounds (and looks) wonderful! You’re very good at tracking down vegan restaurants, and it must be a real joy to stumble across them in a new place. I think I’d do the same as Angela and pile everything onto the bread; I love a well packed sandwich spilling over with salady stuff. Yum!

    • An Unrefined Vegan says:

      You gotta be a sleuth or you don’t eat . It’s amazing what you can find, too. I’ve even got a staff of two working for me (not unlike your lovely assistants, eh?) – a friend who is an expert internet searcher and my dad :-) .

  5. Somer says:

    I love restaurant re-creations! I can see why you’d want to make this one all over again! Scrummy!

  6. Kathryn Morrison says:

    These both look really good! I’ll have to try them out. That baguette looks yummy! Did you make it yourself?

    • An Unrefined Vegan says:

      Thanks, Kathryn! Yes, homemade – a no-knead recipe :-) .

      • Kathryn Morrison says:

        Ooh, do you have a link to the recipe? I would love to try it out!

      • An Unrefined Vegan says:

        Kathryn, I’m away from my files right now, but here’s a recipe that’s darn close: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/the-almost-no-knead-baguette-recipe

        I use some whole wheat flour.

      • Kathryn Morrison says:

        Thanks! Doesn’t look like too hard of a recipe :) I’ll have to try it.

  7. 40 Fit In The Mitt says:

    I love a good baguette, there’s nothing like them.

  8. tinykitchenstories says:

    As much as I love a good baguette, you could eat that sandwich filling as a salad! Yum!

  9. Brittany says:

    My goodness this looks delicious! I just ate lunch and this post is making me hungry all over again!

  10. Richgail Enriquez says:

    I love that it’s surprisingly simple (from the way it looks). Like you, I also try to recreate dishes from my fave restaurants, it’s a fun activity especially if it achieves the same result or better.

  11. annesturetucker says:

    That is one beautiful meal Annie!! I love everything about it :-) XXXX

  12. sweetveg says:

    I love finding good restaurants in unexpected places. Of course, my definition of a good restaurant these days is one that serves an abundance of fresh and tasty vegetables! Yum! That spinach salad looks particularly delicious. I think I have had something similar before, but with a collard greens instead of spinach and a little cinnamon.

    • An Unrefined Vegan says:

      As my food choices evolve it gets harder and harder to find (what I call) a good restaurant!

      • sweetveg says:

        I hear you. I feel lucky to be in Seattle because we have an abundance of options. Home cooking tastes best, though. Most of the time. :)

  13. Cadry's Kitchen (@Cadryskitchen) says:

    This sounds so fresh and filling! Isn’t it fun to recreate restaurant meals at home, adding your own touches and preferences? This seems like the perfect summer weather sandwich!

  14. YouGiveGoods says:

    We are so excited to see that you will be donating your post on April 8th to spread awareness about hunger. Wondering what you will write about? How about food drives for the 21st century…efficient, green, productive and fun! Everything is ONLINE now! See how this blogger, Mommy Poppins, invited her readers to join her in helping 10,000 hungry children in New York City with the click of a mouse! http://www.yougivegoods.com/Feed10000Kids

  15. Richa says:

    i love restaurant recreations.. work out perfect for me and for everyone one else who dosnt want to try out new names and ingredients:)

  16. Celine Bag says:

    This sounds so fresh and filling! Isn’t it fun to recreate restaurant meals at home, adding your own touches and preferences? This seems like the perfect summer weather sandwich!


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