Top Chef Tom Colicchio's Summer Sandwich. Another example of simple elegance and creativity with fresh ingredients and a fusion of flavors like Star Anise, Fennel, Apricot and Pistachio. Nothing like taking something plain and mundane like the sandwich and making it something extrodinary. Then eating it for lunch! HA... me thinks me shall never look at an apricot or fennel root in quite the same way.
And of course, Pistashio. What other nut (aside from myself) has the earthy, mellow qualities necessary to elevate the palate to places unknown with a simple concept like this crafty sandwich. Visit Tom's website "Wichcraft" to get a flavor for other things this guy does between two slices of bread.

This sandwich comes from Tom Colicchio, restaurateur, five-time James Beard Foundation medal winner and head judge of Bravo's "Top Chef"

An open-face sandwich great for breakfast, brunch, a light lunch, an afternoon snack, even as a dessert; it's sweet but not too sweet. It's from his book, "'Wichcraft: Craft a Sandwich Into a Meal - And a Meal into a Sandwich."

Colicchio recommends using slightly underripe apricots - you can stew them longer than riper fruit, so they absorb more of the flavors of the spices. Other stone fruits such as plums work well too. The stewed fruit can be prepared in advance and kept refrigerated in its own syrup for several days.


1 cup each: sugar, water 4 star anise
2 sticks cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns, roughly crushed
6 apricots, pitted, quartered
1/2 bulb fennel, sliced crosswise into 1/8-inch strips
4 slices country bread
1/2 pound ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons chopped pistachios
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
1. Combine sugar, water, star anise, cinnamon and crushed pepper in a saucepan; heat to a boil.
Reduce the heat; simmer 2 minutes. Add the apricots and fennel. Heat to a simmer; cook until the apricots are soft and the fennel has just a slight crunch, about 10 minutes.
2. Grill or toast the bread on both sides. Spread the ricotta on each slice; top with the apricots and the fennel. Finish with the pistachios; season with the salt and pepper to taste. Cut into halves.
Nutrition information
Per serving: 414 calories, 21 percent of calories from fat, 10 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 29 mg cholesterol, 74 g carbohydrates, 11 g protein, 268 mg sodium, 3 g fiber


  1. mmm...sounds simply marvelous. Lezlee

  2. OOH LA LA! That sounds soooo good. You just blew my mind!

  3. Absolutely wonderful. And thanks so much for stopping by my blog today. I am now following you!

  4. Cool, I love Tom and this whole sammie idea!

  5. Hi Keri a.k.a. Sam - thanks for your comment! So glad you like my blog and left a note, because now I'm reading your blog and I love it! I mean, who doesn't love a good sandwich. Sadly, I never had a wichcraft sandwich during all my time in NYC...although I did eat at Craft. Graham Elliot's Grahamwich should be opening any day now here in Chicago, very close to my apt so I'll definitely write a post about it when it does!

  6. I'll be honest. I'm somewhat overwhelmed by ingredients in this sandwich, but if Tom came over and make it for me, I wouldn't kick him out of my house for getting crumbs on my counter, you know what I'm saying?

  7. Too bad fresh fennel is not available here! Actually, I've no idea what it tastes like. Must be quite an interesting aroma. Hope you're having a wonderful day!
    Cheers, Kristy

  8. Hello! THanks for stopping by at my Little House of Veggies. :) Your sandwiches look really great! I could love oin sandwiches, best invention EVER! Fun Blog you have here...

  9. I meant I could LIVE on sandwiches...haha! I need to start proofreading what I type!

  10. Hmmm... very interesting! I would never have thought of this combination!

    What a brilliant idea for a blog :) Thanks for visiting me!

  11. Sounds fantastic! Love new ideas like this. Thanks for stopping by my blog!

  12. I would never ever think of putting all of these things on a sandwich but I bet they're great together!

  13. Hey! Thanks for your wonderful comments! Lately, all I wanna do is take pictures of food. hahaha! This recipe looks good. I'm going to try it tomorrow night....I'll let you know what happens!

  14. I love imagining what this sandwich would taste like. The pistachios are what sold me. I have a Roasted Red Pepper, Basil and Provolone Sandwich you might be interested in. You're invited.

  15. What an interesting combination! That pistachio looks like it dropped from the heavens...its so perfect


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