Pebre & Taleggio Rye Sandwich

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Across the street from my first apartment in Stockholm was a French family owned deli. They had the most amazing cheeses, olives, lentils and just about everything that we look for in a deli today. This was however roughly 15 years ago and my interest in food wasn’t nearly as big as it is now. Back then, I certainly couldn’t afford – or see the point in – buying olives or sun-dried tomatoes that costed four times more than in the supermarket. But somehow I still enjoyed sneaking around in there, talking to the owners about the origin of their products. The only thing I actually bought at the deli was their special vegetarian* sandwich. A freshly baked ciabatta (and to all you youngsters reading this; 15 years ago, ciabatta was as cool as sourdough is today), generously slabbed with the family’s “secret sauce”, chopped tomatoes, capers and thick chunks of taleggio cheese. That sandwich was a revelation for someone who was used to toasted bread with butter and jam. This was the king of vegetarian sandwiches for as long as I lived there. Bold flavors paired with creamy cheese.

I’m not sure when the family revealed to me that their “secret sauce” was their own version of a Chilean pebre – the distant cousin to the Mexican pico de gallo. But from the moment I heard about pebre, I have loved and been in constant pursuit of it. It is not only great on sandwiches, but also as a condiment to just about everything. Our version is packed with coriander/cilantro, chili, garlic and tomatoes. Not all pebre recipes include tomatoes, but since this is our version of the deli’s version, we have taken some liberties.

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So, this is a post about a French deli in Sweden that served a sauce from Chile paired with an Italian cheese. And to add an extra layer to it, I am writing this from Morocco (more about that in a later post)! We prepared this sandwich the day before we left, in a sudden rush of nostalgia. We have used rye bread, but any sourdough bread (or ciabatta if you so please) would be delicious as well. Luise suggests that vegans can replace the taleggio with pan fried tempeh or tofu.

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In our last post we announced that were are giving away 10 tickets to the book fair in Copenhagen next Sunday.

The winners of the tickets are: Katrine, Morten, Anders, Helle, Kamilla, Nada, Nino, Victoria, Marie S, Cecile. Congrats! Our danish publisher will email you to make sure that you receive your ticket in time. Looking forward to seeing you there!

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Chilean Pebre Sauce

You have to adjust the chili and garlic to your own preference. 1/2 habanero will make it quite strong, so you might want to start out with a little less if you are faint-hearted.

3/4 cup pomodoro passata or good quality canned tomatoes 
1 cup loosely packed fresh mixed parsley and cilantro, very finely chopped
3 tbsp cold-pressed olive oil
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar
1/2 habanero chili, seeded and very very finely chopped
1/2 spring onion, finely chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
1 pinch coarse sea salt
1/2 lemon, juice

Mix all ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Taste and adjust the flavors. Store in an air-tight glass jar in the fridge for up to a week.

Making the sandwich
You can buy delicious dark sourdough rye bread in every supermarket and bakery in Scandinavia, and gluten free ‘rye’ bread alternatives are popping up too. We’ve also added a recipe in our cookbook, it is a bit time consuming to bake but so worth it, if you have the time. But you can of course use your favorite bread instead.

slices dark sourdough rye bread
slices taleggio* cheese or pan fried tempeh for a healthy and vegan option
pickled capers, drained
slices of fresh tomatoes
leafy greens

Add a couple of spoonfuls of Pebre sauce to the bread slices, arrange tallegio, capers, tomatoes and greens on top. Add a slice of bread and serve or wrap with paper and grab to go.

* Taleggio and many other cheeses (parmesan, pecorino, gorgonzola etc) use rennet to allow the cheese to curdle. Technically this makes them inappropriate for vegetarians to eat, as dead calf enzymes are used in the process. This is a difficult and well-discussed subject for all vegetarians. Everyone must decide for themselves what they eat and how that affects other living creatures. In our family we eat cheese (rennet-free when we can find it) every now and then, although more rarely than often. If more cheese makers would make rennet free cheeses, we’d be the first one to buy them. A good advice is to buy kosher cheeses, as they always are rennet free.

48 Comments

  • Beautiful photos, as always! Rye bread is my favourite, I definitely want to re-create this sometime soon.
  • Is the sourdough rye in your cookbook a true sourdough, fermented and made w/o yeast. Is it whole rye w/o wheat as well? I cannot eat yeast and wheat or most other gluten. I tolerate rye though. Thanks for any info you can share. I've been very tempted to order your book. I just love your apps and blog.
    • The recipe in the book is with yeast, but try this sourdough recipe and substitute the whole grain wheat flour with rye flour. https://gkitchenstories.com/walnut-rye-sourdough-bread/ Happy baking Luise
  • This sauce looks amazing. I want to put it on tacos..
  • Victoria
    This looks fantastic and I must confess a creeping curiosity about taleggio despite not really being a cheese fan at all...wonder if I can find some at the market...and get a taste test? Wow! I just got got the e-mail from Sif, and I'm so excited to go to the book fair! Can't wait! Happy munching ;)
  • Yum this looks amazing! Great photos - I hope you're enjoying your travels! xoxo Flourish Blog
  • I like easy recipe that you could whip up in no time and this Pebre sauce sounds like a winner. I bet it will taste nice on top of grilled Fall veggies! David, I imagine I could use serrano or jalopeno pepper since I have them handy, though I'll have to double the amount since they are milder than the habenero, right? Enjoy sunny Mexico I am sure the weather must be warm compared to our -1 degree celsius (30F) here tonight!!!
  • This looks amazing, my mouth is actually watering. Can't wait to try out tallegio cheese one of these days too!
  • We have a Swedish Bakery here in Nelson, New Zealand that makes a rye bread that looks exactly the same as your bread pictured. I had to take a double take then realised that the bread is the actually the odd one out as you are much closer to Sweden. And Now I wish we had a deli like the one you describe although New Zealand cheeses are some of the finest with quite different names mind you such as kikorangi blue and kakariki brie.
  • That looks delicious!The flavour of tomato and capers is yum together, it creates such a wonderful balance. I love the sauce, It would be really nice with some buffalo mozzarella with cress, mmmm, might be my lunch tomorrow ;) that you again for making such nice food!
  • I simply think about cheese and it puts a smile on my face. Is there a such thing as a 'Cheeseatarian' because I want to sign-up and anytime you're talking heat, the spicier, the better. This sandwich looks divine! Yum!
  • Isn't this pairing a nice discovery! As an Italian, I have always seen Taleggio associated with fall/winter flavors like mushrooms, truffle and polenta. Pairing it with tomatoes and capers would definitely produce a tasty and interesting results! For more summery flavors, we always used Brie, as it is a tiny tad more delicate. For a strict vegetarian option, well, I have often bought cheeses from local farmers that use vegetarian rennet. I recently tried goat Scamorza made by a Sardinian shepherd, and it was divine. These are also cheeses that grills wonderfully. It would be a pity to completely miss out on the cheese. It is a nice treat every now and then :)
  • Emily
    I have never heard of Pebre before but I have a feeling that I will love it. The photos of the sandwich are amazing. It looks perfect!
  • Hi there, I enjoy reading through your post. I like to write a little comment to support you.
  • Nice post+pictures, unluckily the cheese is indeed (as zielenina mentioned before) not even suited for vegetarians as it contains rennet from slaughtered animals. You might want to note/correct this as an addition to the post, that would be nice.
    • Hi Tom & Zielenina, thanks for pointing that out and sorry if you feel that we have been misleading. We have added a paragraph to clear things out. In short, yes we agree that strict vegetarians might want to stay away from taleggio (and many other cheeses). We, however, choose to eat cheese every now and then. It's our personal choice. If there are rennet free options, we always go for them. /David
  • Pictures are really tempting! It must be delicious with creamy cheese and spicy sauce - Love the Pebre sauce, must be tangy and spicy and same time. Again beautiful post with gorgeous pictures! Hope you guys enjoying Morocco- Can't wait to read about your post on colorful city!
  • Sarah
    The pictures are so beautiful and the combination of this cheese and the pebre seems extremly tasty! I'm definitly going to make this for the next fall-piknik. Btw for vegans I suggest grilled aubergine instead of the cheese!
  • Yum! I had never heard of pebre but it sounds amazing! I love the idea of this international sandwich! Thank you for sharing!
  • looks delicious, beautiful photos however taleggio is not vegetarian cheese. It is made with calf rennet which to gain you need to kill an animal.
  • Oh, I have my Chilean host mom's pebre recipe! Thank you for reminding me of that. I'm going to have to go make this soon--with slight variations ;)
  • What a sensational recipe - it seems so versatile as well - I'm imagining the sauce in tacos or on top of soups, even drizzled over salads. Yum! I hope you're having a fabulous time in Morocco! Your Instagram photos look wonderful!

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