Plant-Based Style Sandwiches
The Earl of Sandwich may be the namesake of this food form, but he didn’t actually invent it; he was just its most ardent promoter. Actually, some type of sandwich has existed in numerous variations for thousands of years. Since I absolutely love sandwiches, I’d like to thank whoever was, in fact, responsible.
Used as both a noun and a verb, a sandwich is two or more slices of bread or a split roll, with a filling in between. Classic sandwich varieties include the club, the submarine/hoagie/grinder (similar sandwich but different regional names), grilled/Panini, and the endless interpretations of types of bread with kinds of filling(s), all of which are now plant-based-able thanks to the quantity and quality of dairy-free cheeses, meatless deli slices, etc., now available in supermarkets across the country.
Starting in childhood and up until I went plant-based, my favorite sandwich was egg salad. I even created a special recipe for Melissa’s “The Great Pepper Cookbook,” Egg Salad Sandwiches with Pepper Relish (pages 128-129). By swapping out the eggs, regular mayo and Hawaiian rolls for firm tofu, vegan mayo, and plant-based dinner rolls (many naturally are p-b), and then adding kala namak* and turmeric for eggy flavor and color, the updated version is as delicious and versatile (stuffed in tomatoes, served in a bowl with pita chips, as a filling for celery, etc.) as the original.
I hope you’ll give my eggy salad a try. And why not try making a plant-based version of your favorite sandwich sometime?
Eggy Salad Sandwiches with Pepper Relish
For the relish:
3 fresh shishito peppers, stems and seeds removed, finely diced or 1 small or medium jalapeno pepper (let your heat preference decide), stems and seeds removed, finely diced
3 tablespoons bread and butter pickles, finely diced
2 tablespoons green onion, white and light green parts only, finely diced
1 ½ tablespoons celery, finely diced
2 tablespoons pickle juice
White pepper (optional) and salt to taste
For the Eggy Salad:
1 package Melissa’s Firm Organic Tofu, water squeezed out
4 tablespoons plant-based mayo
¼ teaspoon wasabi powder (optional)
1 ½ tablespoons ground turmeric
1 teaspoon kala namak*
1 teaspoon black pepper
6 to 8 dinner rolls, sliced in half
To make the relish, combine the chile pepper, pickle, green onion, celery and pickle juice in a bowl. Add salt and white pepper to taste.
To make the eggy salad, in a medium-sized bowl, break up the tofu with your fingers and then with a fork to resemble crumbled egg whites.
Stir in the mayo, turmeric, kala namak*, and wasabi powder (optional) and combine well until the seasonings are evenly distributed. Add black pepper and then adjust seasonings to taste.
To assemble the sandwiches, spoon the eggy salad on the bottom halves of the rolls. Add an even layer of relish. Top with the tops of the rolls.
*For those unfamiliar with kala namak, it is a kiln-fired rock salt with a sulfurous smell that mimics the aroma and taste of eggs. Also known as Himalayan black salt (despite its pale pink color), this powdery, eggy essential can be found at Indian markets or online.
Please also check out my other sandwich recipes from “The Great Pepper Cookbook” that can easily be made plant-based, too: Peach-Padron Grilled Cheese Sandwiches (pages 118-119), Pimento-Cheese Biscuit Sandwiches (pages 120-121), and Vegetarian Banh Mi Sandwiches (pages 122-123).