Beyaz peynirli sandwiches serve the same purpose to Turkish people as peanut butter and jelly sandwiches serve to Americans. They can be made quickly with common household ingredients, and can suit almost everyone's tastes. They are perfect for a picnic or just a quick lunch.
In fact, this simple sandwich was my first real "Turkish" meal. When our group (student) flight landed in Istanbul, we were greeted with plenty of water and beyaz peynirli sandwiches from the Syracuse University Istanbul staff. Extremely tired and jet-lagged, many of us refused the sandwiches at first; however, within two hours we were all eating them as if we had not had food for 2-3 days! While they no longer seem foreign to me, I remember feeling a bit skeptical about them when I first arrived in Turkey (probably being from New Jersey I expected some kind of deli meat to be in there too!).
You can use any kind of bread to make this sandwich, but my favorite way to eat it is on Turkish simit bread. At a cafe near Bahcesehir University in Besiktas, they sell these sandwiches on simit shaped like the number '8'.
For 1 sandwich
2 slices of bread or simit (sliced)
2 thin slices of beyaz peynir (sub: fresh feta)
1/2 cucumber, sliced long ways
1/2 tomato, sliced
Drizzle of olive oil
Pinch of dried thyme or oregano
- Assemble cheese, tomato, and cucumber onto sliced bread.
- Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with thyme.
- Eat with a glass of tea :)
Tips & Additional Information:
- Other great additions to this sandwich include roasted red peppers or olive spread.