A packed lunch to be proud of…
Dorothy Miles has given some TLC to our favourite sandwich fillings. Time to level-up those lunchboxes...
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.
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.
2 small ciabatta rolls
2 small dessert spoons mayo
1 tsp wholegrain mustard
Handful rocket or watercress
1 tbsp chopped parsley/dill/tarragon (or a mix of the three)
Salt and pepper
- 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.
- Pop the ciabatta in a pre-heated oven briefly to refresh the crispy crust if necessary.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Split the crusty ciabatta lengthways and slather generously with the egg mayo. Top with rocket and dive right in.
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.
2 pieces of focaccia
125g ball mozzarella
6-10 cherry tomatoes
1 small clove garlic, peeled
8 large basil leaves
1 tsp red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
- 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.
- Slice the focaccia in half and pop it in the toaster.
- Whilst the bread is still hot, drizzle lightly with olive oil and rub each slice of bread with the peeled clove of garlic.
- Arrange the marinated tomatoes on the bread then tear over the mozzarella. Lay over the basil leaves.
- 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.
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.
2 seeded baps
1 small carrot
2 dessert spoons mayonnaise
¼ tsp smoked paprika
¼ red pepper
2 spring onions
1 ½ tsp sriracha
½ baby gem lettuce
- Grate the cheddar and the peeled carrot on the coarse side of a box grater then place in a small bowl.
- Finely slice the red pepper and the spring onions and add them to the bowl.
- 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.
- Slice the gherkins lengthways into long thin strips and shred the lettuce into thin ribbons.
- 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
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.