Everybody likes sandwiches — at least everybody I know. So to serve a crowd, I love to make a loaf-wich. That is, one big sandwich on a loaf of ciabatta or French bread, sliced into individual servings.
At a recent family gathering, we made two of these ciabatta sandwiches, featuring prosciutto, manchego, fig butter, mustard, arugula, and a mix of fennel and lemon slices, sliced very thin and sauteed. The fennel and lemon combo, inspired by a 'Wichcraft recipe, tastes mild yet zesty and pleases even picky eaters.
Find out how to replicate this loaf-wich at home
The mayo-free tuna sandwich at 'Wichcraft is one of my favorites, and compared to many of the other recipes in the cookbook 'Wichcraft: Craft a Sandwich Into a Meal — and a Meal Into a Sandwich, this one is relatively simple. The resulting meal is so magnificently complex and and innovative, I couldn't believe I'd made it all by myself.
As I learned making 'Wichcraft's goat cheese with avocado and celery, this cookbook gives you the option (and the recipes) of making many of the ingredients from scratch. In this case, I skipped the homemade lemon mayo but did make the lemon confit, which was extraordinary. I have since used the thinly sliced, cured lemons on numerous sandwiches and salads, and it's a great accent to have in the fridge.
Get the recipe now.
Kenny Shopsin invented this sandwich — one of hundreds of items on his six-page, single-spaced menu — for a customer named Greg who is "trapped in shrimp land." Verbiage like that makes Eat Me: The Food and Philosophy of Kenny Shopsin a riveting book.
The cookbook/memoir by the eccentric owner of Shopsin's in New York reads like a weird friend dictating his home "recipes" to you. Naturally, the recipes sound weird, sometimes even off-putting, but this shrimp sandwich is wonderfully and weirdly delicious. I followed the directions almost to the letter but threw on some butter lettuce for good measure to cut the buttery, creamy richness and hint of hot sauce.
Get the recipe and more photos.
John Montagu didn't invent the sandwich, but he gets the credit. In American sandwich history, Eliza Leslie is the name to know. Though she wasn't the first American homemaker to make one, her humble ham sandwich holds the title of earliest printed sandwich recipe in U.S. history.
Eaters of America's heartier early handheld meals — such as Cornish pasties, beef on weck, and fried oyster po'boys — would find it absurd that the first printed sandwich recipe in America involves ribbons. As in, ribbons and bows. But like the people making them, the earliest U.S. sandwich recipes are polite American counterparts to their proper British predecessors; Leslie, who published the ribbon-tied sandwich in question, spent her formative years in England.
In her 1836 cookbook, Directions for Cookery, Leslie explains that her ham sandwich is to be served “at supper, or at luncheon.” The recipe calls for a loaf of white or wheat bread, cold boiled ham, and butter. Leslie suggests using French mustard and serving the sandwiches laid flat or rolled up: “For the rolled sandwiches, roll the long sides of a sandwiches to make a long, thin roll, then tie with ribbon.”
Well, I know what I'm doing next Easter!
Bakers understand ratios, and San Francisco's Tartine Bakery gets the simple formula behind this grilled cheese just right. I've had this recipe for toasted almond and pecorino sandwiches clipped from Bon Appetit since 2004; Tartine's menu still lists them for $11.
Pricey for a grilled cheese, but this sandwich is easy to make and divinely unexpected to taste. Though not as sugary as storebought nutter butter, the sage-infused almond spread has an earthy sweetness and citrusy zest that gently balances the salty, bold pecorino cheese.
On the second night of these sammies, we pressed the asparagus into the sandwich, rather than serving it on the side, which suited the profile perfectly. Get the recipe and step by step photos.
The White Trash Cooking cookbook features several somewhat horrfying sandwich recipes, including one for a potato chip sandwich:
Spread the mayo generously across the bread. Pile the potato chips on to one of the slices as high as you can. Then top it with the other slice and mash down until all the potato chips are crushed.
When I read that, I have flashbacks to an old roommate, who used to sandwich about a cup of Lay's between white bread slathered in mustard, then bite into it, sending chip crumbs all over the kithen floor. But I've also had people tell me how much they love adding a few potato chips to an otherwise standard sandwich. Are you a fan of chips on sammies?
Since I make my sandwich obsession so public, my friends and family are always passing along recommendations and recipes. I was especially tickled by an article my mom tore out of an old Esquire magazine from 1989, entitled "New Hope For the Bread." Arugula in 1989? Who knew?