From Sandwich to Salad...And Back Again

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I love sandwiches. I don't love how eating a large quantity of bread and then trying to sit down to work makes me want to take a nap instead. Over the years, I've learned to eat my favorite sandwiches without the bread. Cheeseburger salad is delicious. So is turkey and Swiss. Even my favorite deli sandwich with mixed cold cuts, melted cheese, and thousand island pickle dressing is delicious over a pile of mixed greens. My latest favorite is a B.L.T. There are too many ripe, juicy heirloom tomatoes at the market right now for me to resist having one with every meal.

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It started with a classic B.L.T. Heirloom tomatoes, mixed crispy greens, Duke's mayonnaise, warm bacon and a sprinkle of my favorite Italian kitchen salt, served between two slices of soft, white bread. Could this be a salad? Why not? It was delicious. And I was surprised at how little mayonnaise I needed to dress it. The juice from the tomatoes mingled with the mayo and salt to create a delightful dressing.

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Then, I had another idea. Chopped salad! Dicing and mixing everything together made each bite a perfect example of my favorite sandwich. I took it a step further by putting the whole thing into my food processor, pulsing just a few times to mix everything thoroughly.

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I used the resulting spread to make tea sandwiches for an afternoon birthday party for a friend. The sandwiches got rave reviews and I've repeated the cycle since then.

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Other sandwiches I have enjoyed without the bread:

  • Roast beef, goat cheese and red grapes
  • Turkey, brie and apples
  • Tuna (Does that count? Or was a tuna sandwich a salad before it became a sandwich?)
  • Bánh mì
  • A hot dog. I'm not even joking. Add plenty of sauerkraut and drizzle it with mustard and ketchup.

After all, the best sandwiches and salads have the same elements: a variety of textures, plenty of vegetables, protein and enough condiment to hold the whole thing together. If you want to add some carbs to your salad, add croutons and serve it panzanella style.

Do any of your favorite sandwiches work as well in the salad bowl as they do between two slices of bread?

(Images: Anne Postic)

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