Why do I call this an Austrian Style Sandwich, you may ask? Well, simple: Because I can. In Austria people usually eat open-faced sandwiches more often than the regular (closed) ones. I also do prefer the open-face kind, be it because you can actually see what you are about to eat or because you will need more time to enjoy the bread slices separately and therefore you will eat less. But if you want a sandwich for the road, there is no way an open-faced sandwich will make you happy – unless you like it the messy way.
Back to my question: What should be the Austrian contribution to this sandwich? First of all: The sunflower bread. This kind of bread is very common in Austria and is my to-go bread. Secondly, the rest of the ingredients (haha). Especially the quark, which is more cheese than yogurt. In Austria and Germany it is available in every supermarket. But note, that only Germans would call it Quark, Austrians call it Topfen. Usually Topfen is a little firmer, similar to farmer cheese. It works well for spreading it on a slice of dark bread, makes a great filling for pierogis and is even better used sweet, as pastry filling.
For this sandwich, I used homemade Topfen/Quark as you can see in the picture above (recipe follows), but store-bought Quark, cream cheese or even greek yogurt is fine too.
For the cheese spread, I usually chop some of the washed and patted dry watercress (about 1 tablespoon chopped per sandwich) and mix it with the quark (about 3 tablespoons per sandwich). Set the rest of the watercress aside; you will use the whole leaves later. Season the spread with salt and pepper. If you are a basil fan, additionally stir in some basil pesto.
The rest is pretty much assembling the sandwich.
Spread the sunflower bread (or other multi-grain bread) with quark, add layers of cucumber and watercress leaves.
Top with a layer of sliced radishes and some basil leaves.
Atop goes another slice of sunflower bread, spread with quark.
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