Happy Hour sandwiches

January 27, 2010  •  Category:

Did you know that a Lebanese man invented the iPOD? The Swatch? Conquered the Seven Summits?


These are sandwiches for a cocktail or happy hour. I have two different fillings to propose. One is simply mixing some blue cheese with labneh and the other is a tapénade, or a black olive paste with tuna. These can be made a day or two  ahead.

INGREDIENTS: To feed 4 to 6 people

  • 10 slices of American-style sandwich bread or French pain de mie
  • 1 bunch of Italian parsley
  • 1/2 stick of butter, melted
  • 1 ounce of bleu cheese or Roquefort
  • 1/2 tub of labneh or substitute cream cheese mixed with 2 tablespoons of sour cream
  • 1 cup of black olives, pitted
  • 1 small can of tuna (3 oz)
  • 1 teaspoon of anchovy paste
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon
  • 1 tablespoon of capers (optional)
  • 3 or more tablespoons of olive oil
  • a dash of herbs such as thyme, marjoram, lavender, oregano
  • 3 cloves of garlic


  1. Prepare the two fillings first; store them overnight or longer.

Cheese filling: Place the bleu cheese or Roquefort (preferably) in a food processor with the labneh or cream cheese and sour cream mixture. Labneh is available at all middle-eastern stores in tubs or you can make it at home by draining some yoghurt overnight over a sieve and a paper towel. Taste the mixture and when smooth, set it aside.

Olive and Tuna paste: Get all the ingredients ready and place them in a a food processor. Taste and adjust seasoning. Set aside.

  1. Lay a long piece of plastic wrap on a work surface. Place 5 pieces of toast on the plastic, side by side. Dab the filling on them and roll using the plastic to fold the bread over. Enclose the sandwich and let it sit in the refrigerator for a while or overnight.
  2. To garnish the sandwiches, unroll them and dip them in a bowl of melted butter, then in a plate of chopped parsley. Place them back on the plastic wrap and roll them as tightly as possible and let them sit in the fridge for a while longer, up to 2 days.
  3. When ready to serve, unroll and cut with a serrated knife and place side by side on a serving platter.
  4. Garnish with the peel of a tomato if you wish, that has been rolled into a rose. That’s a very common garnish in Lebanese cuisine!

Source for this recipe was Ms. Marlene Mattar Maedat Marlene mina al-shark wal-gharb, adapted.


22 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Preety says:

    love the sandwiches , this will make me surely happy

  2. Azita says:

    These two tone sandwiches look very delicious! I’m going to make the olive and tuna paste this weekend. love the rose flower on top. Charming!

  3. TastyTrix says:

    Those are really elegant. I’m making your lentil kibbeh tomorrow for dinner by the way, can’t wait yum!!

  4. PJ says:

    Looks Delish.I never heard of this before but going by the method it sure must be tasty!!The tomato ‘rose’ is so cute!

  5. Sophie says:

    Waw,…these 2 sandwiches look amazing & so interesting too!

    Real beauties as well!

  6. Rosa says:

    Very nice! A great appetizer!



  7. Rachana Kothari says:

    These Sandwiches look really interesting and unique…

  8. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says:

    Fantastic presentation! At first I thought they were tiny rolls 😀 So unique and lovely!

  9. Joanne says:

    I really love the sound of this sandwich filling! They look look so decadent.

  10. Simply Life says:

    I love all the knew things I learn from your blog! These look great!

  11. rajani@eatwritethink says:

    joumana, do you have a recipe for grape vinegar?

    • Joumana says:

      Rajani, all I can tell you is to wash the grapes, discard the bad ones and process in a food processor; drain and use the juice as you would lemon juice in salad dressing. To keep, place in an ice-cube tray in the freezer. When I am next in Lebanon (inMay) I will get the exact recipe for the husrun which is the extract from sour grapes that is bottled. We have a man who does that with our grapes and I will get the recipe from him.

  12. SE says:

    wow…wonderful looking sandwiches !! a good one for a parties !!

  13. Arlette says:

    Hello my friend
    I love your sandwiches, and i do the Labneh one, for the olive instead of the tuna i mix it with toasted walnuts and a bit of mayo to make it spreadable, I make homemade pain au lait .
    will try your tuna version i like it.

    for the grape vinegar…after you wash them and discard the bad once, you put them in a big pail with a close lid or big glass jar, and in a dark cool place make sure you have some papers under the pail, as it will buble over when it starts to mature and turns to vinegar… I do my own apple and grape… it takes around 6-8 months, but the results amazing… when draining them, i use a similar labneh bag made from cotton or linen and fill the bag and let it drain slowly… here you need all your patient… two years ago i bought two bushuls of diff apples and made them all still have one more bottle… this year inshallah is the grape vinegar mix the tw kinds

  14. peter says:

    These roll-up sandwiches make for an easy excuse to have high tea in Beirut!

  15. zerrin says:

    Never seen such a sandwich. They are so unique and I love that they are bite size. The filling mixtures also sound like a feast.

  16. senga50 says:

    C’est une très belle idée pour 2 raisons au moins, le présentation très soignée en rose et le bonheur de déguster à l’apéritif… Je note pour l’été !! les ingrédients me plaisent aussi !! à découvrir et associer

  17. spice says:

    It’s so pretty looking…never seen anything like that…flavours are alos very yummy…

  18. JassiMostru says:

    Very nice and intrestingss story.

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