The trick to this sandwich, as it so often is, is don't be afraid of butter. Spread it liberally, and don't waste your time with guilt.
Alex and I have a habit of forgetting to make plans for holidays and birthdays until the morning of - and after briefly promising to do better next year and the occasional tear (on my part), our solution is always to make this sandwich, put a blanket and a bottle of rosé in the car, and get outside. By mid-afternoon, everyone's happy.
- 1 Crusty Baguette
- .5 lb Ham (opt for the most plainly seasoned; skip the brown sugar and Black Forest varieties)
- Gruyere or Comté
- Good, salted butter, at room temperature
- A 1/3 cup of cornichons
- A squirt of Dijon
Chop the cornichons well, so they're the size of green peas. In a standing mixer or with a very strong arm and a rounded bowl, combine about 5 tablespoons of butter with the cornichons and a healthy squirt of Dijon, stirring until the cornichons are distributed evenly (if you're doing this by hand, make sure you're starting with very soft butter). Slice the baguette longways. Spread the butter + cornichon mixture on both sides of the bread. Assemble the cheese and meat. Wrap in parchment paper.