Photo from Amazon
If I think about last summer, I think about sandwiches. I was lucky enough to test recipes for this book, so altogether I made getting on for 60 sandwiches or ingredients for sandwiches over the testing period. Before summer, I don’t think I’d have been able to think of even 30 fillings for sandwiches – and there’s loads in the book that I didn’t test too.
Sandwiches in Britain are not quite the same as sandwiches in the US. Here, they tend to be something to wrap up and take to school or work. They’re made for ease to transport and maybe eat on the go, so they’re usually quite scant on filling, cold, and frankly a bit dull. If you get them in a tortilla wrap it’s an exciting day. My first trip to the US confirmed that there is a whole other world of sandwiches out there and that they can be hot, stuffed
and a meal in themselves.
This book really revolutionizes the sandwich and makes it totally vegan. The chapters are breakfast, topless, cold sandwiches, classics, bold new ground, sweet sandwiches and then building blocks such as bread, brioche and lunch meats. My favourite thing about the book is the variety. There are big sloppy comforting sandwiches, light healthy lunches, classic evening meals and weekend breakfast treats. Sandwich “outsides” include bread (doh!), waffles, wraps, rice paper, pita, chapati, pastry, brioche, bagels, muffins, pancakes, cookies and more. The authors also encourage us to be flexible and swap the fillings and outsides around – I have certainly made some elements of the recipes and served them in other forms.
I have made one new to me sandwich and remade 2 since I got my copy of the book. I didn’t do this deliberately but I think the 3 of them show the variety in the book. The sandwich I hadn’t made before was the Peanut Butter, Banana and Bacon Sandwich.
This uses chickpeas for the bacon, but gives a tempeh bacon option. It’s a fantastic take on a childhood favourite and made a great breakfast. The chickpeas are good and bacony on their own but lose a bit of their delightful savouriness in the sandwich, so I might up some of the seasonings next time.
I made the Mexican Chick-Un and Waffles quite early on during testing so was delighted to make them again. They use sweetcorn waffles, marinaded tofu and a spicy gravy. This is in the breakfast chapter but I treated myself to it for dinner one night while my sweetcorn hater was away.
Finally I made the BLT for lunch. This is very different from other incarnations I have made or tried, mostly because of the fabulous spread, which is made from palm hearts, amongst other things. Incidentally during testing I used up the extra spread in a baked potato which is also recommended.
The book is full of Celine’s beautiful photos, so I’ll spare you any more of mine, but there’s a tester Flickr group here too. Also, don’t forget to check the “extras” page here on Celine’s website for some extra sandwich components such as spice blends, salsas and sauces that didn’t make it into the book for space reasons.
I have many favourites from the book, but some include Country Sausage, Out for The Count of Monte Cristo, Navajo Tacos, Welsh Rarebit, Dagwood, From Russia with Love, Double Decker Deluxe, Chickpea Shawarma, Pav Bhaji and Ethiopian Wraps.
If you’re in Europe, I have a treat in store for one of you. I have a copy to give away! And what’s more, I’m not going to ask you to follow me on Twitter, like me on Facebook or carry out a piece of complicated brain surgery and send me a picture. All you need to do is leave me a comment and tell me your favourite sandwich, vegan or not, and whereabouts in Europe you live. I’ll choose one winner at random on 10th September.