Super Summer Sandwich Ideas
Sandwiches are a delicious way to enjoy a variety of foods in a neat, informal way. They’re staples of picnics in many places, and the convenient answer to many of today’s on-the-go concerns. They’re also often associated with summertime. While the formal term “sandwich” applied to this food form is derived from the anecdote from 1762, when the fourth Earl of Sandwich in England requested meat between two pieces of bread to avoid leaving a poker game, the actual food is much older. Jewish oral tradition offers us the Passover story of Hilel the Elder putting lamb, herbs, and nuts between two pieces of traditional unleavened bread.
While he started an enduring tradition, you can start your own this summer with some delicious sandwiches. Enjoy them at home, take them to parties, or pack a lunch to explore your world.
Argentinian Steak Baguettes
- 3 200g sirloin steaks, brought to room temperature (available from your Online Butcher)
- 3 half baguettes
- ½ real mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 head of butter lettuce washed and separated
- 1 avocado, thinly sliced
(You may add tomato, peppers, mixed greens, or tappenade to personalize your sandwiches.)
For the sauce:
- 1 ripe tomato, peeled, seeded, diced
- 1 shallot finely diced
- 1 cup chopped fresh parsley (flat-leaf)
- 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
- ½ c extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 c red wine vinegar
- 1 spicy red chilli, seeded and diced
- 1 tsp dried oregano
For the sauce, combine all ingredients in a bowl with ¼ teaspoon sea salt.
In a special grill pan or on a barbecue preheated to medium-high, position your steaks. Then, brush them with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook them for two minutes per side for a medium-rare result, or until they reach your preferred level of doneness. Then, remove them and cover them loosely with foil to rest. This allows the juices to be reabsorbed by the meat, and your steak will be much more tender.
While you’re waiting for your steak to rest, cut your baguettes lengthwise, nearly all the way through. Pry them open, but don’t separate the halves. First, spread mayonnaise, the arrange your avocado, lettuce and any other condiments.
Thinly slice the steak, cross-grain and arrange it in your sandwiches, finishing your delicious creation with the sauce.
These are perfect for relaxed luncheon parties on a summer afternoon. But they also make perfectly satisfying adventure rations if you’re planning a day trip into the country. A good tip if you’ve got your eye on the latter is to make them the night before and wrap them tightly in cellophane. Refrigerate them overnight. When lunchtime rolls around the next day, your sandwiches will hang together and eating them on a picnic blanket will be much easier.
The World Needs a Gyro
- 4 lamb leg steaks, dressed
- ¼ extra virgin olive oil
- 6 Roma tomatoes, cut in half
- 2 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
- 2 brown or yellow onions, sliced along the long axis
- ¾ c real mayonnaise
- 6 garlic cloves, washed, unpeeled
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley, flat-leaf
- 4 rustic, whole-grain sandwich roles or fresh pita bread, as preferred
- Baby rocket leaves or mixed salad greens of your choice
Place each lamb steak between two pieces of plastic wrap and pound thin (1 cm thickness) with a rolling pin or smooth meat mallet. Place the meat in a bowl with one tablespoon of the oil and about half the rosemary. Set this aside to marinate.
Preheat your oven to 200 degrees C. Then place the tomato, onions and garlic in a baking tray lined with parchment or baking paper. Sprinkle the other half of the rosemary and drizzle one tablespoon of the olive oil. Bake for 30 minutes.
Squeeze the garlic from its skin into a small bowl, mashing with a fork. Add the parsley, mayonnaise and lemon juice, stirring well. Salt and pepper to taste.
On your barbecue, cook the lamb for 1-2 minutes for each side on high heat. This will give you a medium result. Cook longer if you like your lamb better cooked. Place it on a plate and cover it loosely with foil to rest for five minutes.
If you want a panini-style sandwich, brush the cut side of your rolls with oil and cook on the grill for one minute, cut-face down. Dress with the mayo, greens, lamb and baked vegetables.
If you’re going for a gyro style sandwich—thinly slice the rested lamb across the grain. Put your pita on a piece of waxed paper. Spread a small amount of mayo on the pita, leaving a wide margin around the edge. Top with greens, vegetables and lamb. Roll tightly with the waxed paper, tucking the ends in well.
These are just two of the great summer sandwiches with which you can spice up your season. While they’re great for a lunch on the go, many can be perfect for parties. Finger sandwiches, rolled and cut sandwiches, or small rolls with foods like flank steak, caramelised onions and gorgonzola cheese are great for sport parties. Your imagination and appetite are the only limitations to the combinations you can create.