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Ah, spring. The days are longer, it’s getting warmer and soon spring vegetables will be in the market.
Add some spring touches to your sandwiches:
Lose the iceberg. Instead of—or in addition to—lettuce, add baby arugula or baby spinach.
Add fresh herbs. You can use whatever you have on hand, from chives and dill to parsley, sage and tarragon. Basil leaves on a sandwich are a refreshing surprise—we use lots of them.
Change your mustard. If you used brown mustard (such as Gulden’s) all winter, switch to Dijon for spring (see our Mustard Glossary for many more ideas).
Change your mayo. Try the enchanting Ojai Lemonaise instead of conventional mayo. Ojai’s spicy mayos, including chipotle and wasabi mayo, are terrific. (As a quick fix, you can add lemon zest, chipotle powder, prepared horseradish or wasabi to plain mayonnaise—but it doesn’t achieve the heights of The Ojai Cook).
Tandoori chicken salad sandwich, topped with
pickled onions and cucumbers, from
Fredi Sandwich Bar in New York City. Photo
Change your ketchup. Exchange Heinz for chipotle ketchup or curry ketchup. We love the varieties from Montebelllo Kitchens, but you can also use a quick fix and add chipotle, horseradish or curry powder to plain ketchup. (Speaking of which, not all ketchup is created equal. See our favorite ketchups.)
Add some bacon flavor. It’s easy with Baconaise, bacon-flavored mayonnaise that’s actually kosher (as are the Ojai mayos).
Add a pickled or candied veggie. Cucumber, from marinated cucumber slices to pickles, perks up a sandwich, as does marinated sliced onion. We love the bread and butter pickles from Granna’s Gourmet from South Carolina, as well as her pickled onion “petals”. You can also do some quick pickling at home (see *footnote below). Cowboy Candy, candied jalapeño chiles that are sweet and hot, are another favorite.
*Combine 1 cup apple cider vinegar, 1 cup water, 3/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup salt in a small pot. Boil until sugar is dissolved; then reduce for approximately 2 minutes. Let cool; add sliced vegetable or fruit and marinate one hour or ovenight.
How would you dress up a sandwich for spring? Let us know.
Here are suggestions from Ian Forman, an owner of the new Fredi Sandwich Bar in Union Square, New York City:
“Open up your refrigerator and pantry and be playful. Try combining ingredients that you wouldn’t normally think go together. The other day I mixed tuna with hummus and made a great tuna salad sandwich. Last year on a camping trip I learned that crisp fruit, like apples and pears, brightens up a boring turkey sandwich and adds a fantastic crunch. Greek yogurt makes a great spread instead of mayonnaise or mustard. Doctor it up with fresh herbs & spices. My favorites are basil, tarragon and cayenne pepper (not necessarily together) but use whatever you have in the house. And remember that a sandwich is not just for lunch. My favorite dinner is the meatloaf sandwich at Fredi.”
Our favorite is Fredi’s barbecue brisket sandwich with pickled onions and jalapeños.
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