I love a good sub sandwich and when I was a wee little teenager I was partial to Subway. They used to have these delicious giardiniera peppers that were so good that I swear I could’ve eaten them with only some melted cheese and that signature Subway bread. Of course back then I scoffed at the notion of eating any sandwich, let alone a sub, sans meat.
Then in college it was either Jimmy John’s or Blimpie’s and honestly I have no idea of either of these chains are still in business. But I will say that Jimmy John’s will always have a special place in my heart thanks to the owner (in Charleston, IL) who often made the after-hours food fix more memorable by playing old school TV show theme songs while hoards of drunk college students yelled out their best guess. To this day I get a craving for bean sprouts and turkey breast when I heard the first few beats of the Saved by the Bell theme song. And before you ask, no I don’t often hear that song these days, but when I do…I salivate.
Later there was Joey’s but they were grinders and not really subs, but damn they were just as tasty. Being from Chicago I do love any good sandwich whether it is an Italian beef dripping with au jus and loaded with spicy giardiniera peppers, a healthy sub with tons of veggies and no cheese or your basic (gourmet) grilled cheese sandwich.
When we made the move to LA I discovered my new favorite sub shop, Jersey Mike’s which is just super delicious. They have this shredded lettuce they toss with salt, pepper and red or white wine vinegar and Holy Smokes was that mixture intoxicating. And it’s LA so no one looks at you twice for ordering a sub without meat and loaded up with vegetables. I admit to loving the Italian sub more than I should, but if I was feeling healthy or trying to, I’d get loaded up with all types of veggies and of course, cheese.
Then I became more aware of my food and the things these corporations pass off as food that actually aren’t…I’m talking about you Subway and your disappointing use of azodicarbonamide in your bread. I’m fond of yoga mats, really I am. In fact I have a bright pink yoga mat that I use every day to stretch. But I have never, even at my hungriest phase of a diet or a hardcore munchies fest, decided Hey eating my yoga mat seems like a good idea. It just…doesn’t.
So information like that kind of woke me up, not to mention my newfound love of cooking and creating new recipes. Now if I get a sandwich craving I do it myself. Whether I indulge in the processed meats like prosciutto or Serrano ham that I still love but can’t bring myself to indulge in more than once every blue moon, or I go the healthy route I do it myself. I can trot down to the local bio mart (bio is the German way to say organic) and get fruits and vegetables that aren’t sticky from pesticides that will give me cancer in a few years or maybe even my future kids.
Last week it was pretty warm out and the humidity was consistently above 90% so I knew that my oven would be taking a rest. I put subs on my dinner menu because they are quick and easy and more that satisfying.
So I grabbed a fresh baguette because they are just the perfect blend of soft and crusty when they’re fresh and they get hard after about 30 hours so you know it’s fresh and free of yoga mat remnants. Then I got together my favorite veggie sub ingredients and got started.
Makes: 2.3 servings. (After making 1 sandwich each, there was about ¼ of the baguette left over, which I put in the food processor with oregano for bread crumbs.
- 1 Baguette
- 6 Romaine lettuce leaves, washed & dried
- ½ Roasted red pepper, sliced
- ¼ English cucumber, sliced thinly
- Salt & Pepper for seasoning
- Mayo (Miracle Whip for me because Mayo…yuck)
- 2 Beefsteak tomatoes, sliced
- Red Wine vinegar (just a splash…or two)
- Preheat the oven to 350° F for at least 5 minutes.
- Cut baguette in half and then slice down the center and toast for 4 minutes. Toast for less time if you plan to use cheese since you’ll have to pop it back in for a few minutes and you don’t want it too hard.
- Remove baguette and begin to layer the sandwich. This is how I did it: mayo & mustard directly on the bread, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, scallions and red pepper.
I enjoyed my sub with a back of sea salt & black pepper baked chips and…tequila. I wish I could give you some sort of highbrow explanation about pairing tequila with cucumbers but, alas, I was just in a tequila type of mood and I had ice and limes on hand so…