The (New) Sandwich Generation

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The (New) Sandwich Generation

Sandwiches have graduated from the lunchbox to trendy restaurants. Here, great ethnic-inspired variations-PLT, anyone?-that you’ll want to serve with linen napkins and your best china (skip the silverware)
Photographed by James Wojcik

Turkey Meatball Bonanza

There’s something about the texture of a meatball sandwich that is irresistibly satisfying. This one is best on a soft Italian roll that won’t squish the meatballs out as you bite into it. Turkey-ricotta meatballs nestled on a bed of wilted fresh spinach and topped with thin shavings of good Parmesan cheese turn this variation on the pizzeria staple into something decidedly delicate. Makes 4 sandwiches 3 thin slices white bread, crusts removed 2 tablespoons milk 1 pound ground turkey cup ricotta cheese 1 egg white cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary 1 teaspoon kosher salt Pinch black pepper Canola oil 2 cups marinara or tomato sauce 8 ounces baby spinach, wilted 4 Portuguese or Italian rolls Wedge of Parmesan cheese, for shaving 1. In a small bowl, tear bread slices into very small pieces, drizzle with milk and mix together. 2. In a large bowl, combine ground turkey, soaked bread, ricotta, egg white, Parmesan, rosemary, salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly and form into 1-inch balls. Chill if not cooking right away. 3. Heat a large skillet over medium- high heat. Add 1/4 inch of canola oil. Heat oil until a small bit of the meat sizzles. Add meatballs (don’t crowd), turning frequently to maintain shape. Sauté until cooked through, about 12 minutes. Meanwhile, warm the marinara in a large saucepan. Toss meatballs in marinara to coat. 4. To wilt spinach, place in microwave-safe bowl with 1 tablespoon water. Cover with vented plastic wrap. Microwave on high for 30 seconds. Stir. Repeat if necessary. 5. Split the rolls in half, and, if you’d like, hollow out the tops to make room for the meatballs. Toast until golden. Fill with spinach, meatballs with sauce; top with shaved Parmesan.
Photographed by James Wojcik

Club Nicoise

From the streets of Nice comes the inspiration for this little sandwich known as pan bagnat. It’s crucial to have the right roll, one that easily encloses the salad-y ingredients-with a soft interior and a crisp but not hard crust that can hold a generous splash of good olive oil and vinegar. The optional white anchovies, a pickled delicacy, taste more like pickled herring than regular tinned anchovies. Makes 4 sandwiches 4 large eggs 4 ciabatta rolls Extra-virgin olive oil Red wine vinegar 4 teaspoons capers Red leaf lettuce leaves red onion, sliced in thin rings seedless cucumber, thinly sliced 2 roasted red peppers, cut in strips 8 cherry tomatoes, halved or sliced 24 oil-cured olives, pitted 12 white anchovies (boquerones), optional Salt and black pepper, to taste 1. Place eggs in a medium saucepan. Fill with cool water to cover, and bring to a boil. Let boil for 1 minute. Turn off heat and let the eggs sit for 8 minutes. Run under cool water, peel, slice and set aside. 2. Halve the ciabatta rolls, and drizzle both halves with olive oil (about 1 teaspoon on each half) and red wine vinegar (about 1 teaspoon). 3. Layer each of the 4 roll bottoms with eggs, capers, lettuce, onion, cucumber, red pepper, tomatoes, olives, and anchovies. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste before serving.
Photographed by James Wojcik

Greek to Go

All the makings of a Greek salad are piled high on a giant, hollowed out loaf, which is then cut into wedges to be shared. The sandwich should be built with some thought toward engineering so the thing holds together. Whole lettuce leaves rather than shredded, tomatoes sliced rather than chopped, slices of feta rather than crumbles will make the sandwich easier to eat. The Greek To Go gets better as it sits, making it perfect for parties. Makes 4 to 6 sandwiches 1 1-pound round loaf, preferably olive bread 8 leaves romaine lettuce 1 large tomato, sliced 1 small red pepper, cored and seeded, and sliced in rings seedless cucumber, sliced 1/4 to pound Greek feta, thinly sliced 6 thin slices red onion 1/4 cup Kalamata olives, pitted 6 pepperoncini, stemmed and seeded Extra-virgin olive oil Red wine vinegar (or lemon juice) Black pepper, to taste 1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves 1. Slice the loaf horizontally, closer to the bottom, and scoop out the top. 2. On the bottom half, layer the romaine leaves, tomato, red pepper, cucumber, feta cheese and red onion. Chop Kalamata olives and pepperoncini together, and scatter on top. 3. Drizzle sandwich with olive oil and vinegar (about 1 to 2 tablespoons each). Season with black pepper. Sprinkle with oregano leaves. Cover with the top half of the loaf. If not serving right away, wrap sandwich tightly in plastic wrap, and weight lightly with a plate in the refrigerator. Cut into 4 to 6 wedges and serve.
Photographed by James Wojcik


You can tell from the name what this is-a good sandwich made even better. Thinly sliced pancetta-Italian bacon that is cured but not smoked and usually rolled into a cylinder-gets cooked crisp and layered with jammy slow-roasted tomatoes and spicy arugula on the toast of your choice. The slow-roasted tomatoes need to be made ahead, but are good for a few days; even less-than-stellar winter tomatoes will be delicious when their flavor is concentrated. Makes 4 sandwiches 24 -inch-thick slices of plum tomato Extra-virgin olive oil Salt 4 ounces thinly sliced pancetta 8 slices country white bread 4 tablespoons mayonnaise 2 ounces arugula 1. Preheat oven to 350. Place tomatoes, cut side up, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Drizzle tomatoes with olive oil (about 1 tablespoon) and coat well. Sprinkle with salt (about 1/4 teaspoon). Place tomatoes in the oven and reduce heat to 300. Cook for about 1 hours or until the tomatoes have shriveled and started to brown at the edges. Remove from oven and leave on baking sheet to cool. 2. Turn oven up to 400. Bake pancetta on a baking sheet for 10 minutes, or until crisp, turning after 5 minutes. 3. Toast bread. Spread each slice with tablespoon mayonnaise. Top 4 slices with a small handful of arugula, a few pieces of pancetta and 6 slices of roasted tomatoes. Top with remaining bread slices, and serve.
Photographed by James Wojcik

Roast on a Roll

A more sophisticated cousin of the Philly cheesesteak, this sandwich is made with quick-cooking pork tenderloin. Sliced deli provolone, with its pungent flavor, is a nod to the sandwich’s humble origins. Spicy broccoli rabe adds a juicy (not to mention healthy!) vegetable note. Makes 4 sandwiches 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 2 cloves garlic, sliced 1 bunch broccoli rabe, tough ends discarded, cut crosswise once Salt and pepper, to taste Pinch red pepper flakes 1 1-pound pork tenderloin 4 Italian rolls (6 to 8 inches long), sliced, tops hollowed out 12 slices provolone cheese 1. Preheat oven to 350. Heat a large skillet over low heat. Add oil and garlic, and toast until golden. Remove garlic and set aside. Add broccoli rabe to skillet. Sprinkle with salt, and cover. Using tongs, turn occasionally. After about 7 minutes, add red pepper flakes. Cook until tender, about 14 minutes, and then set aside to cool. 2. Spray an ovenproof skillet with cooking spray, and heat over high. Season pork with salt and pepper, and brown on all sides for about 5 minutes. Place in preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 150. Let meat rest 5 to 10 minutes before slicing. 3. Layer each roll bottom with 3 slices of cheese, then pork and broccoli rabe, and scatter with garlic. Warm in oven until cheese melts. Top with remaining bread slices, and serve warm.
Photographed by James Wojcik

Grilled Panino

Makes 4 panini 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 1 pound mixed wild mushrooms, cleaned and sliced Salt and pepper, to taste 8 slices peasant bread 4 ounces bresaola (cured beef) or prosciutto 8 ounces fontina cheese, sliced by hand 1. Preheat oven to 300. Heat large skillet over high heat. Add olive oil and mushrooms, sautéing until golden, about 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside. 2. Heat a grill pan or panini maker to high. Top each of 4 slices of bread with: 1 ounce bresaola, 1/4 of the cooked mushrooms and 2 ounces fontina. Top with the remaining bread. 3. Grill both sides of one sandwich until toasty and crisp. Place on a sheet pan, and hold in the warm oven to continue melting while grilling the rest.
Photographed by James Wojcik

Shrimpwich Español

Makes 8 open-faced sandwiches 1 24-inch baguette large ripe tomato 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 6 cloves garlic, very finely minced or grated 1 pound large (16/20) shrimp, peeled and deveined 1 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika Salt and pepper, to taste 1 lemon cup chopped flat-leaf, or Italian, parsley 1. Slice the baguette into 4 6-inch lengths, and then split in half lengthwise. Toast, and rub with the tomato. 2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil. Add garlic and sauté for about 2 minutes until golden. Add shrimp and paprika; season with salt and pepper. Sauté for 4 minutes. Squeeze the lemon over the shrimp, and turn off heat. 3. Top each of the 8 toasted slices with shrimp. Sprinkle with parsley.
Photographed by James Wojcik

Other recipes not pictured

Chicken Banh Mi Makes 4 sandwiches 2 carrots, peeled, cut into matchsticks 1 pound daikon, peeled, cut into matchsticks 1 teaspoon salt 2 teaspoons plus cup sugar 11/4 cups white vinegar 4 tablespoons mayonnaise 2 teaspoons Sriracha chili sauce (found in the Asian foods section of most supermarkets) 1 seedless cucumber 1 24-inch baguette, sliced into 6-inch lengths 1 rotisserie chicken, pulled apart in large shreds 1 jalapeño, seeded and thinly sliced 12 cilantro sprigs 1. In a bowl sprinkle carrot and daikon with salt and 2 teaspoons of the sugar. Toss and let stand 15 minutes until they have lost about 1/4 of their volume. Transfer to a colander; rinse and press gently. In a bowl, combine cup sugar, vinegar and 1 cup of lukewarm water. Stir to dissolve sugar. Add carrot and daikon. Marinate for 1 hour or refrigerate for up to 4 weeks. 2. In a small bowl, mix together mayonnaise and Sriracha. Use a vegetable peeler to cut the cucumber into long, thin strips, leaving the seeds behind. 3. Split each baguette "roll," and spread each half with the mayonnaise. Layer sandwiches with chicken, marinated vegetables, jalapeño, cucumber and cilantro. Top and serve. Chicken & Chutney Makes 4 sandwiches 1 bone-in, skin-on, split chicken breast (about 11/4 pounds) 1 shallot, cut in rings 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch chunks 1/3 cup red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar 2 tablespoons light brown sugar 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger 4 tablespoons dried sour cherries 1/4 cup plain yogurt 1/4 cup light mayonnaise 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon leaves Juice of half a lemon Salt and black pepper, to taste 8 slices round whole wheat, peasant-style bread, toasted Frisée or arugula 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced 1. Place chicken breast in a large saucepan with enough cool water to cover. Turn heat to high until the water comes to a simmer. Turn heat to low and poach the breast halves until the internal temperature reaches 160, about 30 minutes. Let cool in liquid. 2. Meanwhile, make the chutney: Place shallot, apples, vinegar, sugar, ginger and cherries in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and cook until thickened, about 10 minutes, stirring frequently until apples are tender. Transfer to a bowl to cool. 3. In a large bowl, combine yogurt, mayonnaise, tarragon and lemon juice. When chicken is cool, pull off large shreds; discard skin and bones. Season with salt and pepper and toss with the yogurt-tarragon mixture. Layer bread with frisée, chicken, celery and 2 tablespoons chutney. Top and serve.
Photographed by James Wojcik

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