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I’ll Have the Salad Sandwich

Antipasto Salad Sandwich

“I’ll have the salad,” feels so good to say. But whenever I do, I quietly wonder if the growling of my stomach will outpace my crunching. When meeting a friend for lunch, or going out to dinner with my amazingly svelte mother-in-law, salad seems inevitable. When sitting around a table in the summer dusk, a dinner salad is the world’s most perfect thing; an ode to what’s fresh where you are, an invitation to use a single plate, a reason to eat more raw vegetables than one otherwise might. To linger over such a salad feels like the good life.

Not so if I am in a rush, or urgently hungry, or both which happens many a weekday lunch.

Then, leafy salads make me mad. They’re hard to eat. The leaves are evasive. Only so many will fit on a fork at once, and those few I finally manage to spear struggle to escape their fate, their fringes swatting my cheek and leaving behind tickly traces of dressing before my teeth can contain them. Remember the ladies-laughing-alone-while-eating-salad meme from last year? Know why those ladies were laughing? Me neither. I enjoy laughing and I like salad, but not simultaneously. Salad requires too much attention to be hilarious. But something that does make me pretty happy is making a big, tall leafy salad, dressing it lightly, and locking the whole lacy construction within a prison of crusty bread or even a giant flour tortilla.

Antipasto Salad Sandwich

If living well is the best revenge, the salad sandwich is the best revenge lite. Even the wildest salad can be thus tamed in the following way: scoop out the middle of a 1/3 baguette, a Portuguese roll, or any other kind of sturdy bread on a nice long piece of waxed paper. Mound a ridiculous amount of salad on top. Now act as if you are packing for a long trip with a small carry-on suitcase. Tuck stray leaves in with your thumbs. Roll the salad sandwich into the paper, tucking tightly as you go. Then slice through the whole thing and take a bite. But what to do if you find yourself at a restaurant with my mother-in-law? Simply order the salad…and a hollowed out baguette.

Heather is the culinary editorial director for Cooking Channel. In addition to her tips for turning a salad into a sandwich, Heather also schooled us in how to build a better burger.

Work off of these great salad recipes to build your first salad sandwich recipe.

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