Tired of PB and J? Had it up to here with ham and cheese? In honor of back-to-school season, we revisit and remix the lunchbox, with sandwiches that surprise, but don't require you to break a sweat.
Melissa Clark leads us in our journey. The author of "In the Kitchen with A Good Appetite: 150 Recipes and Stories About the Food You Love," she also shares her mother's sandwich theory of life. (Recipes after the jump)
Time: 15 minutes plus 20 minutes weighting
- 2 anchovy fillets, minced (optional)
- 1 very small garlic clove, minced
- 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- Pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 8-inch round very crusty country loaf, or small ciabatta, halved
- 1/2 kirby cucumber or 1/4 regular cucumber (see note)
- 1 medium-sized, ripe tomato, sliced
- 1/2 small red onion, sliced
- 1 jar (5 to 6 ounces) olive oil-packed tuna, drained
- 8 large basil leaves
- 2 tablespoons sliced pitted olives (preferably a mix of black and green)
- 1 hard-cooked egg, peeled and thinly sliced
- In a small bowl, whisk together the optional anchovies, garlic, vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper. Slowly drizzle in the oil, whisking constantly.
- If using a country loaf, pull out some of the soft interior crumb to form a cavity. (If using a ciabatta, you won’t need to eliminate anything.)
- If using a Kirby cucumber, thinly slice. If using a regular cucumber, peel, halve lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds from one half. Thinly slice half of the seedless half to give you a quarter of the original whole. Add the sliced cucumber to the vinaigrette and toss well.
- Spread half the tomato slices out on the bottom of the bread loaf. Top with half the cucumbers and some vinaigrette, then with the onion slices, tuna, basil leaves, olives, and egg slices. Top egg with remaining cucumbers and vinaigrette and then tomatoes. Cover with the second bread half and firmly press the sandwich together.
- Wrap the sandwich tightly in foil, waxed paper or plastic wrap, then place in a plastic bag. Put the sandwich under a weight such as a cast iron frying pan topped with a filled kettle, or have a small child about 7 years old sit on the sandwich. Weight the sandwich for 7 to 10 minutes, then flip and weight it for another 7 to 10 minutes (or as long as you can get the child to sit still). Unwrap, slice, and serve immediately, or keep it wrapped for up to 8 hours before serving.
Serves 2 to 3
Note: You can substitute 1/4 of a seeded and sliced green bell pepper for the cucumber.
Tofu Salad with Sweet Pickles and Hot Mustard
Time: 5 minutes
- 8 ounces tofu, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 2 scallions, chopped
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons minced sweet pickles
- 4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 4 slices whole wheat bread, toasted
- Sliced avocado, for serving
- Dark leafy greens such as arugula or spinach, for serving
In a medium bowl, combine the tofu, scallion, mayonnaise, pickles, mustard, and pepper. Divide the salad onto 2 slices of the toast and top with the avocado and greens. Sandwich with the remaining slices of toast and serve immediately.