Who doesn't love eating picnic sandwiches while sitting on a blanket in the sun? If you're looking for ways to build the perfect picnic spread, read on.
The Key to Picnic Sandwiches
Everyone loves sandwiches. They're easy to make, easy to pack, and easy to eat. You can make them light and healthy or heavy and hearty. The sky's the limit when it comes to what you can put it them, so it only makes sense that sandwiches are considered the perfect picnic food.
There's a trick to the art of sandwich making, though. As anyone can attest, letting a sandwich sit for longer than a few minutes will usually result in a soggy mess. And forget about wrapping them, which only exacerbates the problem. How do you keep your lunch from turning into goop? Here are a few important tips you should keep in mind.
Just like people, vegetables are mostly water. Many veggies must be cut or sliced before laying them on a sandwich, further increasing the potential for sogginess. How can you avoid the dampness from your vegetables soaking into your bread and making a huge mess?
For non-sliced veggies such as greens and sprouts, dry them with a paper towel before putting them on your sandwich. If you're slicing vegetables, such as pickles, tomatoes, or cucumbers, dab them on both sides with a paper towel to remove excess moisture. This will remove enough of the water to buy yourself an hour or two of sog-free hiking or driving time.
Cold cuts are by their very nature damp to the touch, but if you let them sit out on a plate for ten minutes before putting them on bread, they'll lose a little bit of moisture from their surface. For larger cuts of meat, you can wrap them in a paper towel and press them between two plates for a few minutes. This works particularly well with shredded meats, which tend to gather juices since they have more exposed surface area. Give your shredded meat a good squeeze to get rid of any damp-causing drips.
There is a whole science to sandwich spreads. Did you know that oil-based spreads such as butter, mayonnaise, and pesto actually seal moisture away from bread, preventing it from getting soggy? It's true! The fat in these spreads keep meat and vegetable juices where they belong - between the slices of bread and not absorbed into them.
When spreading butter or mayo onto a slice of bread, make sure you spread a nice, even layer that covers it from edge to edge. Don't use too much, though, as a lot of fat can cause bread to get soggy just like the water from toppings.
Picnic Sandwich Recipes
Now that you've got some anti-sog skills in your arsenal, here's a chance for you to put them to work. These sandwich recipes are sure to make any picnic memorable.
Pesto Turkey Sandwich
This sandwich is always a hit, and the green pesto matches the outdoor setting you're hopefully enjoying it in! Makes two sandwiches.
- 4 slices of bread
- 1/2 cup pesto (either store bought or homemade)
- 1 handful of baby spinach leaves, gently patted dry
- 8 slices oven roasted turkey breast
- Lemon juice
- Spread pesto thinly and evenly on one side of all four slices of bread. Set two slices aside.
- Layer spinach leaves onto the two remaining bread slices, then layer on the turkey.
- Sprinkle with a few drops of lemon juice and top sandwich with the slices you set aside.
For all intents and purposes, wraps are definitely sandwiches. They're easy to make, fun to eat, and kids love them! Yields about 24 slices, perfect for picnic sandwiches.
- 4 large flour tortillas, trimmed to a square shape
- 1 head of lettuce, gently patted dry
- 1 handful of spinach, gently patted dry
- 1 package American cheese (or any cheese that you like)
- 2 large tomatoes, sliced and gently patted dry
- 1 package of toothpicks
- Lay tortillas flat and spread them evenly with mayo.
- On each tortilla, add a layer of lettuce, spinach, and cheese, then place one row of tomato slices right down the middle.
- Tightly roll up tortillas and secure in 1-inch sections with toothpicks
- Cut into 1-inch slices with a very sharp knife.
- Spread out on a platter and enjoy.