Restaurants » Consumables

Recipes: Summer bummer sandwiches

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Even as we start to re-open businesses and restaurants, this will be a different kind of summer. We still face challenges with maintaining physical distancing guidelines and a general lack of normalcy, while simultaneously trying to enjoy the fleeting warm weather without any concerts or summer festivals to look forward to.

A great local resource to help get our community through this difficult time is The Rochester Public Market, which has served as a social anchor for the community since 1905. The market may be operating under new guidelines during the pandemic, but its heart and soul has endured.

One of my favorite things to do on a hot, humid Rochester summer Saturday is to go to the market early before the heat and the crowds set in and pick up ingredients for a lunch (or dinner) time sandwich. On a hot and humid day, a nice, light sandwich is often the best option that requires no real cooking. Market vendors such as the family-owned Flour City Bread Co. and VM Giordano European Cheese Shop offer some of the best baked goods, cheeses, and meats anywhere in Rochester, and produce from local farms like Bolton or Bushart Farms will add a depth of freshness and flavor to your meals.

I’ve put together a number of sandwich recipes that are adaptable to any size with interchangeable and substitutable ingredients, which can mostly be sourced directly from The Rochester Public Market. All of these options can easily be converted to vegetarian or vegan diets with the omission or substitution of some ingredients. I whole-heartedly suggest that each of these sandwich options be served on a freshly-baked baguette from Flour City Bread Co. Note the bonus mayonnaise recipes at the end.

Simple Summer Sandwiches:

The Market:
Thin-sliced mortadella
Fresh sliced tomato
Sliced provolone cheese or sliced fresh mozzarella cheese
Extra virgin olive oil
Avocado oil mayo*
Fresh basil leaves
Salt and pepper to taste

Italian Vegetarian:
Fresh sliced tomato
Sliced fresh mozzarella cheese
Fresh basil leaves
Roasted garlic or avocado oil mayo*
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste



The Liberal:
Sliced avocado
Watercress or sprouts
Romaine lettuce
Chipotle, poblano, or avocado oil mayo*
Fresh sliced tomato
Queso fresco cheese
Fresh cilantro
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

The Conservative:
Roast beef
Fresh Boston lettuce
Sliced American cheese
Fresh sliced tomato
Fresh sliced red onion
Dijon mustard
Red pepper mayo*
Salt and pepper to taste

The Royal:
Thin sliced Prosciutto, Coppa, Soppressata, and Milano Salami
Fresh mini burrata cheese (truffle or plain)
Fresh romaine lettuce
Fresh sliced tomato
Sliced red onion
Red pepper or roasted garlic mayo*
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Lettuce Pray:
Romaine lettuce
Boston lettuce
Butterhead lettuce
Sliced portabella mushroom (fresh, grilled, or marinated)
Fresh sliced tomato
Fresh sliced red onion
Sharp white cheddar cheese
Any flavored mayo*
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste


*Mayonnaise
In my opinion, flavored mayos can make or break a good sandwich. I prefer an avocado oil-based mayo such as Sir Kensington’s for sandwiches. I feel it provides just the right mix of flavor and texture, and can be augmented by the addition of simple canned (or fresh) ingredients to make a sandwich truly stand out. The following are flavored mayo formulas that can be made with a food processor, blender or mortar and pestle that will yield a batch size of about 1 ½ cups of flavored mayo.

Chipotle Mayo: 1 cup avocado oil mayo to 1 7-oz can of Goya Chiles Chipotles in adobo sauce

Poblano Mayo: 1 cup avocado oil mayo to 7-oz roasted poblano peppers

Red Pepper Mayo: 1 cup avocado oil mayo to 7-oz roasted red peppers

Roasted Garlic Mayo: 1 cup avocado oil mayo to 7-oz roasted garlic


More on the Rochester Public Market and its vendors can be found here:
https://www.cityofrochester.gov/marketvendorlist/
https://flourcitybread.com/
https://www.giordanoimports.com/

J. Nevadomski is the author of the long-running "Highlife for Lowlifes Guide to Cooking" series (2013-present) and is a food and culture contributor to All WNY News and CITY Newspaper. Also a veteran of the Rochester art and music scene, he lives in the Park Ave area of Rochester, keeps a yearly urban vegetable garden, and regularly hosts dinner and tasting parties for friends and foodies. Feedback on this article can be directed to CITY’s arts & entertainment editor, Rebecca Rafferty, at becca@rochester-citynews.com.