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Best Summer Sandwiches

what are your favorite sandwiches or wraps or paninis that include (among the ingredients, or as the only ingredients) beautiful fresh, summer produce?

in addition to the sandwich, etc., what would you serve as an accompaniment, and a beverage?


here are some ideas:

avocado with bacon and tomato on crusty, hearty bread -- with a squeeze of lime on the avocado, and a little mayo on the bread, of course. i can see adding a veeeery thin slice of vidalia or red onion, too.
to drink: maybe a rosé (yes, virginia, there are *good* rosés!)
or if it is really hot outside, a heineken beer.

another: lemon-vinaigrette dressed arugula, with shaved fennel and shaved parmesan, in a whole grain roll -- or toasted sourdough.
to drink: crisp but not too dry fumé blanc wine. or a slightly fizzy medium-bodied white from france or italy.

another, inspired by jungmann: salsa verde (fresh tomatillos and chile peppers) blended with guacamole, then smeared on a smoked turkey sandwich. bread? whole grain?
to drink: dos equis amber beer.

another, inspired by kchurchill: a greek veggie salad wrap, with cukes, tomatoes, feta cheese, kalamata olives, maybe some fresh mint from the garden, spinach, red onion, with a roasted red pepper-oregano vinaigrette, in a spinach, whole grain, or red pepper wrap.
to drink: maybe some yogurt drink (like a salty lassi) -- or -- wait for it -- tart buttermilk! (i'm a new buttermilk fan! i'm wondering how it would work with a little salt, like lassi?)

i've just been inspired by a salad at a local french restaurant (lavandou, in d.c.). serve on a crusty french baguette: "Salade de Fenouil au Roquefort: Fennel, Celery, Apple, Walnut & Roquefort Salad, Walnut Vinaigrette."
to drink? a nice white bordeaux.

fried green tomato, with cracklings in a corn pone "wrap" with john folse's cajun red remoulade. (don't ask me just exaclty how this will work, but i'm going to figure it out!)

and because of my love of summer corn, i'm trying to think of how to make bkhuna's idea into a sandwich: roasted corn, cotija cheese, mayo and chili powder. maybe some arugula blended with cilantro? <too much?> bread? a freshly made tortilla? yes!
to drink: what would complement the sweet corn? hmmmm......

and...it wouldn't be summer without this simple little ditty: slab of juicy tomato, duke's mayo, salt and pepper, wonderbread.
and what to accompany this sandwich? why, another tomato sandwich, of course!

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  1. Oh sweet! Alkapal, you totally made my day!
    I'm totally gonna make elotes in tiny masa boats for my next summer party. I can make the masa boats in muffin tins the size of those mini quiche things. Maybe with a sliver of serrano ham, or a tiny crumble of chorizo on top. Sweet!

    1 Reply
    1. re: gordeaux

      great gordeaux! (i had to look up elotes ;-) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elote

      i love your idea! baby masa "quiches" with fresh grilled corn and chorizo! mmmm.

    2. Not to live up to stereotypes about Canada... but it's still cool here in Calgary (weather east of the rockies and all...) so I haven't totally gotten in to summer mode yet. (finally hitting 26C/78.8F today) so I'm not going to be a lot of help, but I am going to bookmark the thread. Loads of great ideas here alkapal!

      fwiw I'd probably put the greek salad on pita and top with tzatziki and have a lemon gin & lemonade slushie with it :)

      1. IMO there is one sandwich that is the apotheosis of summer: a BLT on white toast with mayo -- made with fresh garden tomatoes and a great bacon like Siesal's! Yum!

        1. Had your BLTs last night for dinner. We've been growing this fabulous heirloom tomato called Mr Stripey - a firm orange tomato; not real big, but real tasty. They finished producing last week so we saved the last few and had a BLT fest last night.

          6 Replies
          1. re: KiltedCook

            Well, I don't know where you are, but I'm jealous! Here in the NE, it's been damp and cool and there's been very little action from the tomato plants. You're somewhere where the tomato plants have already finished producing, so maybe you'll be jealous of us in about 8 weeks?

            1. re: roxlet

              I agree! I am dying for a BLT- they are my favorite! But fresh heirloom tomatoes are still a ways off in NYC.

              1. re: roxlet

                Same here roxlet and newfoodie. But our day will come and I can't wait to have some of these summer sandwiches (and salsas) with our own deck-grown heirlooms! In the meantime, I've been picking up "ugly tomatoes" in the supermarket. Yum!

                1. re: kattyeyes

                  I saw some of those in the market the other day, what are they? Just slightly un-pretty tomatoes or something else all together?

                  1. re: newfoodie

                    "Ugly tomatoes" are very delicious--tastier than any other tomato I've ever had. Just like an ugly duckling, these are truly beauties. And we're growing our own heilooms, too (although they're just stalks right now). Can't wait! How did I make it 40 years without knowing how good these were:

                    You've gotta try 'em.

              2. re: KiltedCook

                mmmmm... love mr. stripey!!! I have a mr. stripey plant in bloom right now, among others, and just can't wait!!!

              3. Yummy topic.

                I just made a sandwich- on day old no knead bread, thinly sliced: spread thin layer of boursin cheese, salami, thinly sliced ribbons of zucchini, topped with few sliced peperoncini, and dashes of olive oil & balsamic vinegar. Couple of grinds of black pepper. Lots of spicy/ sour flavor but the crunch of the zucchini really made it. Would also be nice with thin slices of radishes (once they are ready for picking).

                1 Reply
                1. re: tall sarah

                  That's a very nice combo. I've never used zucchini that way, but am a fool for salami and pepperoncini and would love to try it. If you can find it, proscuittini (peppered ham) combines beautifully with the salami. That's my all-time favorite Italian combo (with BelGioso provolone).

                  Fresh basil (we have some growing now) is a natural addition to anything with tomato. My fave is lemon basil. It's not a sandwich, but I love caprese on ciabatta. We eat it frequently throughout the summer as a starter...even better if you can get burrata or really good fresh mozz. Certainly, you can make a sandwich of the ingredients...or better yet a panino if you have a press. Cinnamon basil is an interesting switch-up there, too.

                2. do like a vidalia onion sandwich with a little mayo and fresh cracked pepper. when its this simple the bread is key. here, i would go with the baguette from clear flour bakery in brookline, mass. but subsitute at will.

                  1. Continuing to riff on the tomato theme (ours are still flowers -- but eagerly awaiting) -- tomato, sharp Canadian cheddar and basil or spicy spring greens with mayo on crusty whole wheat.


                    Caprese-style -- Tomatoes with burrata and basil on white country loaf with drizzled olive oil, balsamic, salt and fresh-cracked pepper.

                    OR (for those of us still waiting for tomatoes)

                    Tuna salad with fresh dill, spring onions and chopped celery with romaine on potato-dill bread.


                    Grilled red pepper with light vinaigrette and goat cheese on baguette.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: bite bite

                      OOPS, yes, Caprese! I didn't see your response, but YES!

                      I also like your goat cheese suggestion and have some very nice roasted red peppers with garlic that my mom's boyfriend made. That could be lunch! :)

                    2. Although technically it isn't Summer till 21 June, nothing screams Summer in New England more than a Lobster Roll. Big chunks of tail and claw meat lightly dressed with just enough Hellman's to hold it together (alternatively, hot melted butter instead of mayo) stuffed to overflowing in a buttered and grilled hot dog roll. That's my very favorite. Drink: Ice cold beer of your choice.

                      Next fave is a thick slice of freshly picked garden tomato with a sprinkle of sea salt and a slight drizzle of EVOO on 2 pieces of freshly baked Italian Scali. Drink: San Pellegrino

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Gio

                        And then there's soft-shelled crab...

                        1. re: bite bite

                          Ah yes... Do you like them with lettuce, tomato and mayo on white bread or plain in a roll with a remoulade?

                          1. re: Gio

                            Yes! And sometimes with a bit of mayo & watercress (not traditional s'far as I know -- but like the peppery contrast)

                      2. the Bon Mi Sandwich. They are cool and crisp.

                        2 Replies
                          1. re: normalheightsfoodie

                            ooh, good one. ideally one with lots and lots of cucumber!

                          2. Grilled eggplant, feta, lemon aioli and mint. Mmmmmnn

                            1. Can't wait for the green tomatoes because my favorite sandwich is:

                              Swiss Cheese
                              Still warm Fried Green Tomato
                              Soft white roll

                              It's important to make the sandwich while the tomatoes are warm enough to slightly melt the cheese....... hmmmmmmm

                              1. Super Simple - toasted Pepperidge Farm thin sandwich bread with homemade mayo and heirloom tomatoes or a lobster roll - the real kind: a top split bun with a whole lobster tail and butter - don't even think of serving me that lobster salad junk!

                                1. Many years ago, when I spent a summer on a private island in Penobscott Bay in Maine, I made a loaf of oatmeal bread at the same time as the home-grown cucumbers were ready. I know it's a bit twee, but those thinly sliced cukes on freshly made bread with a little mayo and salt and pepper were divine. I'm not sure why I have never made that again...maybe this summer!

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: roxlet

                                    ooooh.... i want that in mah belly. it sounds perfectly simple and amazing.

                                    1. re: roxlet

                                      Next time try cream cheese instead of mayo. Also, I'm kinda partial to thinly sliced onion on my cucumber sandwiches. So simple, and so good.

                                    2. honestly my favorites are very simple: tomato and aioli on a baguette or breakfast radishes and fresh churned butter, sprinkled with fleur de sel, on a baguette (maybe more of a springtime treat).

                                      1. anyone lovin' goat cheese, try this new-to-me brand: "president" "fresh" goat cheese, "creamy & mild". i had it on seared scallops with fried sage and brown butter. so delicious! try it, and thank me later. ;-)).

                                        1. Zingerman Deli's "Rodger's Big Picnic" Sandwich. It's with asparagus, grilled portobellos, and cheese. Yum!
                                          The recipe's here if your interested:

                                          1. slices of good tomatoes and fresh mozzerella with a chiffonade of basil, drizzle of EVOO and cracked pepper - as a salad or on bread (crusty outside, soft inside)....that screams summer to me!

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: pie22

                                              or the same on ciabatta with with fresh ricotta instead of the mozzarella. I enjoy this with just one piece of toasted bread. Layer of ricotta, tomato, basil, the drizzle of yummy olive oil and grind of pepper.... maybe a few olives thrown on or thinly sliced yellow bell pepper.

                                            2. because of the bounty of summer tomatoes and hot peppers, i think this indian-style chutney using these veggies, plus some spices, would be a great spread for a toasted sandwich: http://ahaar.blogspot.com/2006/08/tom...
                                              maybe with a medium sharp cheese. i'm thinking my new favorite cheese (the "president" brand fresh goat cheese) would be just perfect -- on toasted sourdough.

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                I notice that they sell the "President" brand brie at Costco, and I am wondering if you got the goat cheese there. I will have to look the next time I go...

                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                  hi roxlet! i had my cheese on a superb dish at a restaurant, and was so impressed i asked our server to find out the brand from the kitchen. i've seen the president brand brie at my safeway, but never gave it a second look, thinking it was just a "supermarket" brie. and i've never had it, to my knowledge. (i get my brie at trader joe's, typically).

                                                  i looked up the president "fresh goat cheese creamy and mild" on their product locator, http://www.presidentcheese.com/ourche... . there is also a "log" version of their plain "goat cheese" -- but i haven't had that version..

                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                    Thanks, alkapal! I took a look at the link and I see that it is sold at Stop & Shop supermarkets in my area. I never noticed it there, but then I don't usually get my cheese at Stop & Shop. I'll have to make it a point to swing by. I agree with you, though: I never thought as the President brand as a premium brand!

                                              2. what about a sandwich made from traditional italian bread salad ingredients (featuring those overripe summer juice bombs called tomatoes),
                                                stuffed into a dressed italian round country-style bread, then compressed, and cut into wedges once it is melded and "set"?

                                                1. I've got 2 faves...an authentic Bahn Mi, and then the one I made up (and just finished eating!)
                                                  Really good French roll
                                                  Mayo (aoli if possible)
                                                  3 slices mortadella
                                                  3 slices proscuitto
                                                  Caprese salad made with fresh mozzarella balls, sundried tomatoes, and fresh basil & a little olive oil
                                                  Drizzle of Italian dressing

                                                  Lettuce and tomato if desired.....

                                                  Now, you can make this into a panini (AMAZING) or eat it cold....it's great either way!

                                                  1. Magic words there. Mater sammich! No whole wheat bread need apply, this is white bread only.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: MellieMag

                                                      On white toast? And bacon? With just the smallest bit of mayo and salt and pepper. Mmmmm. Summer in a sandwich!

                                                    2. Wow, these sound fantastic (even the ones with meat, which I think I could easily modify). Thank you for posting!!!

                                                      I'm boring--my favorite is probably the fresh mozzarella and homegrown tomato combination, on fresh ciabatta, with a great crisp white.

                                                      1. Can't believe I didn't mention Julia Child's pan bagna. The best.

                                                        1. Waiting for summer means waiting for soft shelled crabs, fried in a cornmeal batter, eaten on crusty bread with chili aioli, lettuce, tomato and hot sauce.

                                                          In recent years, I've taken to making my own Asian pickles (green mango and carrots, daikon, green papaya, etc.) and layering them on baguettes with mayonaise, fish sauce, cucumber, cilantro and longanisa sausages cooked until caramelized and blistering. It's a wonderful combination of salty, sweet and spicy.

                                                          3 Replies
                                                          1. re: JungMann

                                                            You know who had a very good soft shell sandwich last year, believe it or not? Tracks, in Penn Station. I kid you not, they were perfect. Hope they do them again this year.

                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                              Something edible in Penn Station? Sign me up!

                                                              1. re: JungMann

                                                                Truly! Good oysters, too. You know me, I wouldn't steer you wrong.

                                                          2. There are only two "Best Summer Sandwiches" ~~~
                                                            First there is your vine ripe, home grown tomato sandwich...On white bread, with copious amounts of Duke's Mayonnaise seasoned with salt and pepper...The juice runs down to your wrist.
                                                            Second there is your vine ripe, home grown tomato sandwich..On white bread with copious amounts of Duke's Mayonnaise seasoned with salt and pepper....The juice runs all the way down to your elbows and drips off....Also there's mayonnaise in both corners of your mouth......Need I say the latter is best? :)

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: Uncle Bob

                                                              No question! AHM NOM NOM NOM! :) Can't wait!

                                                            2. I just had one of my favorites: sliced cheese, tomato with red onion and hummus spread on whole grain toast.

                                                              Another is a take on the muffaletta sandwich. Provolone, salami and ham on ciabatta bread. Then I make a salad of chopped gardinia salad adding olives, onion and garlic with olive oil and smother the cold cuts with it.