Monday, December 23, 2013

Au Bon Pain Holiday Menu and Tomato Spread Recipe



Still running around Christmas shopping? Stop, relax and enjoy some new and delicious treats at Au Bon Pain! Their coffee got me through my days at Northeastern University way back when (Wayyy back when!). The chain started in Boston 30yrs ago and features new menu items six times a year. I had the opportunity to preview the new holiday menu items at a blogger event on December 17th. I was so blown away by the tomato spread in the chicken sandwich that I recreated it (see recipe and pictures below). Thanks to Roger Bowles, Director of Culinary for sharing the general concept for the recipe!  Enjoy, take a break and treat yourself this Christmas!

 Au Bon Pain is featuring two new sandwiches this holiday. An egg white breakfast sandwich with spinach and mushrooms and a very delicious chicken sandwich with mushrooms, spinach, cheese, and the most delectable tomato spread I have ever had on a sandwich! (See recipe below if you would like to make it at home). Oh, and both sandwiches are made with sprouted grain bread. Not bad for reducing those calories this holiday season!

 Now for the not so caloric cautious, but oh so delicious holiday treats and baked goods! The new menu for the season will feature a delicious pupernickle bagel (my favorite), a gingerbread man, a soft yet chocolatey shortbread cookie with peppermint candy pieces, and last but not least, a cinnamon coffee cake. The cookie is worth just a drop in alone! Watch out Trader Joe-Joes! You have some competition!


Au Bon Pain knows soups. For the holiday menu, you can enjoy a nice, comforting, flavorful Thai coconut shrimp soup. The tiny shrimps were almost in every spoonful. I really liked the broth and the spicy and sweet combination with bamboo shoots, red peppers and ginger.

Not pictured, a parfait will also be featured with vanilla Greek yogurt, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries. The yogurt is made locally by Hood. 

Tomato Spread
4-5 tomatoes
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 tablespoon rosemary, chopped
1 tablespoon basil, chopped
olive oil
1/2 large ball of fresh mozzarella cheese
pecorino romano cheese, grated
salt and pepper to taste

Note: measurements are not exact. Have fun experimenting and recreating your own version! You can't go wrong with these simple ingredients.

Preheat oven to 300F. Slice tomatoes and add to bowl with some olive oil to coat. Add in garlic, herbs, salt & pepper. Mix thoroughly (you have a nice tomato salad at this point, but please wait and do not eat the tomatoes yet!). Arrange slices on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cook for about 1hr (see photo for an idea of what they should look like). Let the slices cool. Add to food processor with fresh mozzarella, Romano to taste. 
I made a breakfast sandwich with my batch, but I think it tastes much better with chicken or tofu or mushrooms if you do not eat meat. Enjoy!!


tomato slices with olive oil, garlic & herbs

tomato slices ready to go in the oven

Roasted tomato slices

                                                    Putting my new food processor to work! 

tomato egg sandwich with tomato spread!

Further reading and info on other bloggers who attended this event, go to Bostontweetup.com.


Happy Holidays!

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