It's Lunch Week at The Kitchn and therefore I'm thinking a lot about sandwiches, which is not a bad way to spend the morning. There's a small but significant glitch in my sandwich bliss, however: it's March and tomatoes, one of the key components to a great sandwich, are quite out of season right now. How can I make a great sandwich without sliced tomato? Read on for a few suggestions.
The tomato offers so much to a sandwich: color, flavor (sweet and acidic), juiciness, texture. It really is key to building a fantastic sandwich. So what to do in the winter/spring when the only tomatoes available were picked so green and so hard that you could play a game of billiards with them and not do any damage? Your first step is to walk right past them in the grocery store. Your second step is to think outside the box for a tomato replacement. Consider the list below:
• 1 Thin slices of persimmon (Fuyu) can offer the sweet/tangy taste and some of the texture of a tomato.
• 2 Thin slices of baked butternut squash will offer sweetness and color.
• 3 Thin slices of cooked potato, especially if you use lemon in the dressing for a little acid kick.
• 4 Roasted red or yellow peppers (from a jar) offer sweetness, color and texture.
• 5 Sun-dried tomatoes either made into a pesto or well-chopped and mixed into mayo for when the taste of tomato is key.
• 6 Thin slices of beets, either raw or cooked, for color, texture and earthy sweetness.
• 7 Thin-sliced roasted turnips or rutabaga will bring sweetness and texture.
• 8 Pickled vegetables in general offer tang and brightness.
• 9 Thin-sliced apple or Asian pear (or regular pear for that matter) for sweetness and texture.
• 10 Sliced ripe figs (in late autumn) or kumquats (winter/spring) or kiwi (fall/winter.)
What ways have you brought the color, taste, texture and sweet/tartness of tomatoes to your winter sandwich? Share them with us in the comments!
Related: What to Put on a Fresh Vegetable Sandwich
(Image: Faith Durand)