Think sandwiches are boring? Think again! Delicious fresh bread, crispy salad, tender cold cuts and cheese… what’s not to love? Take a step away from the plain ham and cheese and let us share with you the secrets on how to make the best sandwich ever for your next office lunch.
Like building a house, the foundation of a perfect sandwich is one of the most important parts. We’ve all had those disaster sandwiches where the bread let the whole team down - too chewy, too thick, too soggy or too dense. A good bread base really sets the tone for the flavour and texture. Whether you’re into a fresh sourdough, ciabatta, a bagel or a classic white bread with sesame seed crust, don’t skimp out on a good base!
There are no hard and fast rules on choosing the right bread for your sandwich filling and a lot will come down to your personal preference. One thing we do recommend you focus on is finding the right balance between the texture of the bread and your filling. For example, a crunchy fried chicken would work well with a soft, fluffy bread roll. An egg salad on a crusty, chewy, dense bread makes eating too much effort and if you’re not careful, one bite could cause the filling to squish out.
Hot tip: Keep your fillings in mind. For example, firmer breads like ciabatta rolls go well with heartier fillings like steak or mushroom. But, soft foods like tuna or cold cuts would pair well with a lighter bread.
I think we can all agree there is nothing worse than biting into a dry sandwich. A good spread adds flavour, moisture or creaminess, which is needed for that perfect texture. Whether you’re into classic butter, zingy mustard or even a basil pesto, this step not only seals the bread to keep it from going soggy but adds the first layer of flavour.
One of the secrets to a fabulous sandwich is lightly spreading butter to the bread before adding the other ingredients. It seals the bread by absorbing moisture from the other ingredients. No more soggy sandwiches!
Hot tip: Stuck in a spread rut? Try out hummus, chutney, aioli, salsa, guacamole, hot sauce or ricotta to mix things up.
On top of your base goes your meat and cheese. Placing them down as the second step in your flawless sandwich placement prevents any sogginess from occurring.
There are endless flavour combinations to try! Whether you want a crunchy fried chicken, spicy salami or some leg ham, get creative with your fillings.
If you’re vegetarian or vegan, why not try a lightly grilled and herbed Portobello mushroom, roasted aubergine or even a sweet potato slice? Nobody needs to miss out on the perfect sandwich.
Now for cheese. There are plenty of options here - from swiss to aged cheddar or even a combination of a few! Don’t discount the flavours a good cheese can bring to the table (especially if you’re in the mood for a toasted sandwich).
Don’t be afraid to use lots of vegetables in your sandwich. They could be fresh and crispy, roasted and creamy or deliciously grilled! This will add extra flavour, colour, crunch and texture to your sandwich. Don’t forget to season them because a little bit of salt and pepper can go a long way in bringing all the flavours together. If you’re bringing your sandwich to work, try packing things like tomato and lettuce separately to keep them crispy and fresh.
Feeling uninspired? Give creamy slaws, pickles, olives, Mexican pinto beans or even fresh chili a go!
If you are an adept sandwich crafter, you may want to take it to the next level and add some herbs! Rosemary, sage, parsley or even some mint could level your sandwich up. Get creative and don’t be afraid to use lots of herbs and vegetables in your sandwich.
Hot tip: Onions can add extra flavour to your sandwich, but if you find them to be a bit too bitter raw, you can soak thin slices in ice water for 20 minutes. Drain, blot them dry with a paper towel, and enjoy crispy onions without too much bite. Alternatively, toss sliced onions with kosher salt, wait a few minutes, rub the salt into the onions, rinse with water and blot dry.
Use last night’s roast beef, perfectly cooked southern fried chicken, meatballs or even roasted veggies for an extra delicious filling, all while creating less food waste! Double bonus.
While it might be tempting to stack it up high, don’t fill it so much you can’t eat it without it spilling out.
Let your culinary flag fly and get creative with your sandwich! Why not go for something sweet with some cream cheese and fruit bagels, drizzled with honey? Or try Mexican pinto beans, corn cob kernels or fresh guacamole. Yum!
Experiment with different breads, such as sourdough, seeded, rye, grain and corn. For something different, try wraps, bagels, rolls or a brioche bun. Mix it up with different combinations of breads and sandwich fillings so you never get bored.
Don’t feel like you have to add lettuce and tomato to every sandwich either. Make your sandwich more gourmet and try creamy slaws, pickles or roasted veggies to add brightness and contrast to an otherwise boring sandwich.
For something different, why not try a wrap as an alternative to bread slices and rolls. You can get more of the good stuff you want inside, without bogging it down with more starch. Plus, it won’t completely fall apart on you while you eat it.
Not sure what to have for lunch at work? Your next office lunch doesn’t have to be boring. Add some excitement to your gourmet sandwich with these mouth-watering fillings. Plus, they're so easy to make!
We hope these handy tips and ideas for sandwich fillings inspire you for your next work lunch. There are no excuses now to make a bad or boring sandwich again.
If you need tasty gourmet finger sandwiches, rolls or wraps for your next working lunch, training session or event, speak to the corporate catering experts at EatFirst. With access to many caterers in London and the UK, we have delicious, gourmet sandwich menus that are anything but boring. Gluten free options are also available for special diets. Order corporate catering now by visiting our website, or calling 020 3890 2200. We guarantee that you'll find more than just ham and cheese sandwiches on our menus!