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French Salad Sandwiches

Light sandwiches packed with fresh-vegetable medleys are popular throughout France, often served in bakeries, bistros and cafes. It's easy to recreate these delights at home - and Ile de France Cheese cheeses are the perfect way to add a gourmet twist.

Call it a French Salad sandwich and savor all summer long. But don't think of it as merely a sandwich with some extra vegetables. Adding elements of fresh salads makes for a nice twist to classic sandwiches, creating unexpected textures and new flavor profiles.

Here's how to craft a French Salad sandwich at home:

- Slice a half baguette in half the long way and brush each side with olive oil and a dash of garlic. To make more room inside, scoop out a bit of dough from the middle and add a thin layer of basil, parsley or spinach.

- Dice up a mixed salad filling. Anything fresh is fair fame - tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, onions and Romain lettuce are a great start. Add either grated hard cheeses like comté, crumbed cheese like Ile de France chevré or small cubes of a soft cheese like Brie. Toss and spread on the bread.

- Consider exploring some more exotic combinations. For example, adding strawberries and almonds is a great way to turn salad sandwich mixes into something special. Sweet strawberries add zest to freshly tossed lettuce mixes while Ile de France Brie and strawberries pair perfectly together. Blue Cheese and kale makes a unique summer salad sandwich, too. Kale offers a healthy alternative to regular lettuce and Ile de France Roquefort brings more than enough flavor to make it delicious.

- Light balsamic vinaigrette dressing and Romaine lettuce. Any vinaigrette dressing will taste great with salad mixes. Add a bit of crushed garlic and garnish with bay leaves.

- Deli meats are at home with all of the above combinations. To create a custom feel, cube ham, turkey or chicken and mix it in with the vegetable medley for a perfect look and mouth feel.

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