Open-Faced German Sandwiches

High in protein and flavor, it’s a great weekend sandwich.

Croque Madame

I’ll be the first to admit that I have no idea if these sandwiches are German in any way, shape or form. What I do know is that I saw them serving something similar at a cafeteria in Germany, and I built my own when I returned. It’s a variation on a croque madame (ham, cheese and egg), but the arugula salad and vinaigrette take things to a different level.

The ingredients are simple, but the flavors are not. These sandwiches are high in protein and would be a good meal after a long run (if you’re into that sort of thing).

The ingredients list is for four sandwiches. There will probably be leftover vinaigrette.


  • Loaf of crusty bread
  • Sliced deli ham
  • Shredded gruyere cheese
  • 4 eggs
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Arugula
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil


In a small bowl, whisk together mustard, balsamic vinegar and sugar. Slowly add olive oil, whisking constantly. Toss with arugula and set aside.

Cut the bread into medium-thick slices. You want them to be solid enough to hold the sandwich, but not so thick that you can’t bite through them. Toast the bread and set aside.

In a frying pan, cook your eggs over hard. After flipping the egg over, sprinkle with grated gruyere and allow to melt. Make sure that the yolks are cooked through; otherwise the sandwich is much too oozy and messy.

As the eggs are cooking, warm the deli ham in the same frying pan. This should take less than a minute. You just want to take away the refrigerator chill.

Layer your bread, ham and cheesy eggs. Top with a handful of arugula. You can also serve extra arugula salad on the side, as seen above.

It takes some modifications to make it work for everyone, but it’s tasty.


The Tiny Kitchen Assistant ate his without salad, naturally, since he detests leafy things. “The bread is too crunchy,” he complained, but had no problem removing the ham and eggs and eating them on a softer, untoasted slice of bread.

The Husband gave me a very strange look. “This is… unusual. Not bad, just… I wasn’t expecting this. But yeah, I’d eat it again.”

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2 Responses

  1. nancy says:

    two questions: 1) Pick up and eat? 2) is that plate in the picture sitting on the patio? (For some reason that idea just delights me. I’ll just set this on the ground out here and snap a pic….)

  2. Alisa says:

    You recognized it, eh? How do you know that we haven’t been eating our meals on the ground?

    Yes, it is. I’ve realized that it makes for a lovely backdrop, and if I time it right the light is perfect.

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