7 Sandwiches to Save You from Your Lunch Rut

If you had asked me What’s for lunch? sometime in the very recent past, my answer would never have been a homemade sandwich. The simplest versions always felt lackluster, and the ones I craved—the Court Street Grocers–level creations—would require half a day to prepare the dozen or so fancy sub-components. Plus, they never tasted as good as the ones I could buy. It just never felt worth it.

But once I started asking that same question of the home cooks, authors, and chefs I admire most, I had to reconsider. For them, the answer is simple: Nothing beats a sandwich.

After hearing them out and learning about their various tips and tricks, I realized I had been overthinking the whole “sandwich” thing. Sometimes, all it takes to make an old-faithful classic feel novel again is to add just one new ingredient, as the cookbook author Jessica Battilana does by adding sauerkraut to her family’s favorite jambon beurre. Other times, it’s all about using the best-quality ingredients you can find, as with the chef Meherwan Irani’s truly transcendent-sounding “fancy tuna” sandwich.

Now I’m a homemade sandwich convert, and I think you could be, too. Here are seven ideas to inspire you the next time lunchtime strikes (a.k.a. tomorrow).

Photo by Laura Murray, food styling by Susie Theodorou


What’s in it: Lightly toasted whole grain bread + mashed avocado + sliced cheddar +pickled red onions + shredded kale dressed with lemon juice and olive oil

San Francisco Chronicle cooking columnist Christian Reynoso describes his favorite weekday sandwich as “more of a philosophy” than one that requires a set ingredient list. It almost always has mashed seasoned avocado, some kind of cheese, and dressed greens, but everything else is up for interpretation: the pickled onions might be cucumbers instead, or there might be some sliced tomato in there. As long as it answers the question, “What vegetables do I have on hand?” it belongs in this sandwich.

Photo by Laura Murray, food styling by Susie Theodorou

Fancy Tuna

What’s in it: Seeded sourdough + oil-packed tuna + mayo + olive oil + onion + pickles + pickled jalapeños + freshly cracked black pepper

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