Play Hard

A packed lunch to be proud of…

Dorothy Miles has given some TLC to our favourite sandwich fillings. Time to level-up those lunchboxes...

Written by High Life North
Published 08.09.2020

By Dorothy Miles

The secret to a good sandwich – a proper, grown-up sandwich – is to get the balance of crunchy, soft, sweet, sharp and savoury exactly right. Here, I revisit three classic sandwich fillings but give them a bit of TLC to make a packed lunch to be proud of. 

Egg Mayo Sandwich Recipe

Proper Egg Mayo 

The filling is soft, so this sandwich is best served on some really crusty bread. My favourite is ciabatta, but a baguette would also be wonderful. The creamy, rich egg mayo is made vibrant with the punch of some mustard, and the acidic tang of cornichons. A handful of rocket or watercress provides some much-needed crunchy freshness against the filling.  

Makes 2 

2 small ciabatta rolls 

3 eggs 

2 small dessert spoons mayo 

3 cornichons 

1 tsp wholegrain mustard 

Handful rocket or watercress 

1 tbsp chopped parsley/dill/tarragon (or a mix of the three) 

Salt and pepper 


  1. Bring a small saucepan of water to the boil. Once a rapid boil is reached, carefully place the eggs into the water and set your timer for 8 minutes. You are aiming for yolks that are set but still slightly fudgy.
  2. Pop the ciabatta in a pre-heated oven briefly to refresh the crispy crust if necessary. 
  3. Whilst the eggs boil, pick the parsley leaves from their stalks and chop them roughly but finely. Half the cornichons and slice into thin half-moons. 
  4. One the eggs are cooked, drain them and run them under a cold tap to stop them cooking. As soon as they’re cool enough to handle, peel them and pop them into a bowl.  
  5. Use a fork to roughly mash the eggs in a small bowl. Add the mayonnaise, chopped herbs, cornichons, a pinch of salt and a generous grind of fresh black pepper and mix together, using the fork.  
  6. Split the crusty ciabatta lengthways and slather generously with the egg mayo. Top with rocket and dive right in.  
Cheese and Tomato Foccacia Recipe

Cheese and Tomato 

My sandwich of choice as a child; the combination of sharp cheddar with sweet cherry tomatoes is still an unbeatable classic in my mind. It’s hard to get excited about such a humble sandwich filling these days, however, this version of cheese and tomato is more like a Caprese salad in between bread. 

Makes 2 

2 pieces of focaccia 

125g ball mozzarella 

6-10 cherry tomatoes  

1 small clove garlic, peeled 

Handful rocket 

8 large basil leaves 

1 tsp red wine vinegar 

Olive oil 

Salt and pepper 


  1. Slice the tomatoes into rounds and lay them on a plate. Drizzle with olive oil, a sprinkling of salt and pepper and ½ tsp red wine vinegar. Set aside for 10 minutes to marinade. 
  2. Slice the focaccia in half and pop it in the toaster. 
  3. Whilst the bread is still hot, drizzle lightly with olive oil and rub each slice of bread with the peeled clove of garlic. 
  4. Arrange the marinated tomatoes on the bread then tear over the mozzarella. Lay over the basil leaves. 
  5. Use the leftover oil and vinegar from the tomatoes to lightly dress the rocket then layer on top. Sandwich the whole thing together and enjoy. 
Cheese Savoury Sandwich Recipe

Cheese Savoury  

A classic sandwich filler if ever there was one! This spicy, homemade cheese savoury knocks the socks off the version you can pick up in the supermarket. Make this in a big batch and keep it covered in the fridge to see you through the week.  

Makes 2 

2 seeded baps 

30g cheddar 

1 small carrot 

2 dessert spoons mayonnaise 

¼ tsp smoked paprika 

¼ red pepper 

2 spring onions  

1 ½ tsp sriracha  

2 gherkins 

½ baby gem lettuce 


  1. Grate the cheddar and the peeled carrot on the coarse side of a box grater then place in a small bowl. 
  2. Finely slice the red pepper and the spring onions and add them to the bowl.  
  3. Season with the mayonnaise, paprika, sriracha. Stir thoroughly to combine. Taste the filling and add a little more sriracha if it needs more fire, or a pinch of salt if it seems a little bland. 
  4. Slice the gherkins lengthways into long thin strips and shred the lettuce into thin ribbons. 
  5. Split the bap, and butter lightly before mounding the cheese savoury mix onto the read. Top with a handful of shredded lettuce and the slices of gherkin. 

About the Author

Private Chef Dorothy Miles

Meet @Dottyinthekitchen

I’m Dorothy, the face behind the food. I’m a Private Chef and Supper Club Host based in the North East. 

After graduating in English Language and Literature in London, I moved to Newcastle Upon Tyne in 2015 and fell in love with this warm, quirky city and the stunning coast and countryside in surrounding Northumberland. After a brief spell as a Secondary School English Teacher, I made the bold leap to follow my heart into the kitchen and I have never looked back. I’ve worked in several professional kitchens in the North East, picking up tips and techniques from the pros.

I’m usually found in my kitchen making a mess as I trail new recipes, tending to our urban veg plot and posting about it on Instagram, or scoffing something tasty at the dinner table, glass of wine in hand.

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