It is hot. Just the thought of turning on the stove will create a faint sheen of sweat on your upper forehead, not to mention the idea of putting on a pair of dish gloves, heating the faucet, and scrubbing a saucepan smeared clean. Did we mention it’s hot? In other words, it’s sandwich season – and to beat potential PB&J runs, here are some inspirations below.
Sabich: I had my first Sabich probably a decade ago and have been chasing this deeply perfect creation ever since. A pita filled with fried eggplant, hard-boiled egg, Israeli salad, various spices and a dash of tahini sauce. The sandwich is attributed to Iraqi Jews who came to Israel as refugees in the 1940s and 50s. It’s usually found in falafel shops in this country, though not nearly enough. Biting into one means experiencing intense pleasure often denied to vegetarians in sandwich shops and understanding that eggplants, when properly cooked, can be the stuff of decadence. Given that and the relative lack of places where Sabich is sold, I am grateful for Adeena Sussmans recipewhich is especially good now when the eggplant season is in full swing. – Rebecca Flint Marx, Editor-in-Chief
Stone fruit sandwich: If it’s too hot to cook, it’s probably the perfect time for stone fruit too. I’m a loyal member of the nectarine team (I like my food lint-free, thank you), but when at their peak peaches, ricotta, cherries, pluots and the like are all exceptional, I see it as my civic duty, consume so much every day as possible from everyone. Enter this sweet / savory lunch pile: a firm bread – think a ciabatta bun or a strong sourdough – is the vehicle for a thick layer of full-fat ricotta, layers of sliced stone fruit, some fresh herbs (I’m a part here tarragon)), coarse salt and a dash of olive oil. As a sandwich, it is a kind of “meal over the sink”, as any good stone fruit should be. – Lesley Suter, travel editor
Strogie hoagies: I have to say something frankly: Rachael Ray calls these sandwiches “Strogie Hoagies,” which is a crime that should likely lead to its removal from this list. But here’s the thing, after having made these sandwiches on a regular basis for the past dozen or so years: A) These sandwiches are delicious. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it for a hot summer day, but the combination of sassy stroganoff, fresh and peppery watercress, and a fluffy baguette is so pleasant that I’m surprised no more restaurants have tried a mash-up like this. In addition, the recipe for the stroganoff itself is a solid, quick version of the classic. B) Ray inspired my husband to derisively call them Stro Hos and later Stroganoff Hoganoffs. It’s a win / win really. – Missy Frederick, City Manager
Veggie sandwich with sprouts and hummus: I’m a big fan of lighter veggie sandwiches – if I want to eat something meaty or fishy it will likely be an open deal. My standard are alfalfa sprouts, hummus and avocado puree, optionally upgraded with leafy greens, pickled vegetables, hard-boiled egg and / or spices (za’atar, tajín, etc.), depending on what I have on hand. With the double spreads it is definitely in the range of sticky sandwiches a la PB&J, but structurally very satisfactory with the crunch of the sprouts. – Nick Mancall-Bitel, associate editor
Turkey and Seasoned Cream Cheese Sandwich: I have a special place in my heart for a turkey and cream cheese sandwich because it reminds me of childhood “tea” parties (read: orange-soda-in-teacup parties) that I usually had with my grandmother and a who’s who of my cuddly toys. As an adult, I give it a little upgrade: mixing spice mixes or spices in cream cheese makes it a little fancier. These days I make a spread with harissa and cream cheese in equal parts, combine it with turkey, cucumber slices and radish and just a dash of Dijon. It comes together in a few minutes and is super, super tasty. You can do this with things like sambal too, anything but the bagel seasoning or pomegranate molasses. – Brooke Jackson-Glidden, Eater PDX editor
Instant Pot Italian beef sandwich: This Pinch of Yum recipe calls for the beef, garlic, onion, beef broth, and Italian condiments to be thrown straight into the pressure cooker, but I’ve tweaked it a bit by sautéing the garlic and onions using the machine’s saute function before I add everything differently. I also stirred in peperoncini in the jar for the giardiniera and added an extra cup of beef broth than requested in the recipe to ensure these babies can be filled with plenty of jus after toasting the buns, melting the cheese, and filling the sandwiches with so much tender, juicy meat as they could hold. A bonus I wasn’t expecting: the leftovers made for an excellent work-from-home lunch the next day. – Terri Ciccone, Eater Audience Development Manager
Cheddar Mayo Sandwich: The name of this sandwich pretty much says it all, but let me try to explain: this is a cherished family recipe. Or it’s something my dad ate when I was little, and that was really disgusting at the time. But reader, it turns out there’s nothing like a slice of wholemeal soft bread spread with mayonnaise (Hellmanns please, now’s no time for lust !!), stacked with thick slices of mild to medium-sized cheddar cheese (my dad would use spicy but I hate it) and topped with another slice of mayo-spread bread. I was wrong, my father was right, and we were supposed to have this very simple sandwich all summer. Actually, we should eat it all year round as it doesn’t require a single fresh vegetable. Genius. – Elazar Sontag, employed author