Allow me to introduce you to my current reigning veggie sandwich. I’ve affectionately dubbed this sandwich the Ultimate Veggie Sandwich, which is a title that sounds like it has some weight and permanence. But the truth is this sandwich is my favorite for now. Sandwich loyalty isn’t something I’m known for. I’ve had many a sandwich in my day and most of them have been vegetarian. Cheese is really the main event for me when it comes to sandwiches. Growing up my ultimate sandwich was a toasted tomato sandwich, which is really just a BLT sans the B. But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve branched out in terms of my sandwich repertoire.
In today’s Ultimate Veggie Sandwich, you’ll still find the L and the T but this beast has a lot more going on. This sandwich boasts a thick slice of tomato, slabs of sage derby, pickled watermelon radish, creamy avocado wedges, a rainbow of micro greens, and crisp gem lettuce. This deliciousness is sandwiched between two slices of multigrain bread slathered with roasted red pepper hummus. It’s a lot and it’s just enough. “Balanced” doesn’t even begin to cover it.
Now, I realize you probably don’t need a tutorial on how to make a sandwich. You most likely covered that task before you saw the inside of a junior high school. It was probably the first edible thing you learned how to make. But this “recipe” doesn’t just cover putting stuff between two slices of bread. No, no! This seemingly simple tutorial comes with not one but two recipes.
There is one recipe for pickled watermelon radish and another for roasted red pepper hummus. And the best part is if my taste in sandwiches is, um, not aligned with yours. You can just take the pickles or the hummus and do what you will with them. The hummus would be right at home on a crudité platter and the pickled radish can go wherever a pickle goes. I had them on a turkey burger a little while ago and I was not mad about it.
This blog needs another hummus recipe like I need another hole in the head. But this Roasted Red Pepper Hummus was too good not to share. I developed this recipe over the pandemic when supply chain issues robbed me of my favorite store-bought version. And now, this recipe has made it difficult to settle for that ultra-convenient tub from the grocery store. Now, it goes without saying homemade hummus takes a lot longer than any shopping trip. In fact, it starts the night before when you soak dry chickpeas in cold water. You can of course use canned, but I find I have better results in both taste and texture when I start with dry.
Once the chickpeas are good and plump, drain them and place them in a pot with water and baking soda. The baking soda helps break down the chickpeas’ skin, which makes for silky smooth hummus. Cook the chickpeas until they are mushy, again this results in the best texture. When the chickpeas are done, drain them and rinse them with cold water.
While the chickpeas are simmering, blister a couple of red peppers under the broiler. I used Shepherd peppers for this batch but I have used regular old bell peppers before and they worked like a dream. When the pepper skin turns black, take them out of the oven and set them aside to cool. When they are cool enough to handle, peel the skin off of them. They shouldn’t put up much of a fight. Place the peppers in a blender and add the garlic, tahini, and salt. I like to blitz the tahini with the lemon juice first to help loosen it up, so it integrates into the hummus more evenly.
When the tahini mixture is smooth, add your chickpeas and any remaining ingredients. Blitz until nice and smooth and boom – you have hummus. You have quite a lot of hummus, actually. This may seem too labor-intensive for a single sandwich, but if you have the hummus waiting for you in the fridge alongside the pickled radish – the Ultimate Veggie Sandwich comes together in a heartbeat. Think of the hummus and radish recipes as investments in your future eating-related happiness. And speaking of pickled radish, let’s talk about it.
Now, this pickled radish recipe is pretty bare bones, so feel free to dress it up with garlic or chili flakes – whatever tickles your fancy. All you have to do is shave a watermelon radish nice and thin on a mandoline. You can do this with a sharp chef’s knife but for your own sanity, I think it’s easier and faster to use a mandoline. From there whisk to combine some water, vinegar, salt, and sugar. Again, if you want to dress up your pickling liquid, this is the time to do so. If you are adding whole spices, I recommend bringing your pickling liquid up to a boil and simmering it for 15 minutes. This will give the aromatics time to express themselves in the pickling liquid.
Once you have your pickling liquid where you want it, pack the radish into a jar and pour the liquid over top. Seal and let pickle at room temperature for a couple of hours. If you would like to make the radish a few days in advance, transfer the jar to the fridge and leave it to pickle in there. This pickled radish will keep, immersed in its pickling liquid, for up to three weeks. Again, think of all the future sandwiches.
With the hummus and the pickled radish completed, all that remains is putting delicious things between two pieces of bread. These are the toppings I went with in the order I put them on the sandwich: Roasted red pepper hummus, gem lettuce, cucumber, tomato, sage derby, pickled radish, micro-greens, avocado, and a little more gem lettuce. I think this order makes this sandwich structurally sound. But having said that, I do recommend wrapping the sandwich in parchment paper before slicing it. It really helps stabilize the sandwich. And make sure your bread is toasted, it makes for a more solid foundation.
And that’s everything you need to know about this Ultimate Veggie Sandwich. It’s positively bursting with interesting flavors and textures. Is it a little too tall? Sure. But I promise it’s worth unhinging your jaw for.
Ultimate Veggie Sandwich
- 1 mandoline
- 1 blender or food processor
- 1 small pot
- 1 Small Baking Sheet
Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
- 1 cup dried chickpeas
- ½ tsp baking soda***
- 2 shepherd peppers **** halved and deseeded
- ½ cup tahini room temperature
- 1 clove garlic peeled
- 1 lemon ***** juiced
- 1 tsp salt
- 2-4 tbsp ice water
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp sesame oil
Pickled Watermelon Radish
- 2 watermelon radishes sliced thin on a mandoline
- ½ cup white vinegar
- ½ cup water
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 tsp salt
Ultimate Veggie Sandwich
- 4 slices honey oatmeal bread toasted
- ½ cup Roasted Red Pepper Hummus see above
- 1 head gem lettuce leaves seperated
- 2 mini cucumbers sliced
- 1 large heirloom tomato sliced thick
- 100g (3.5oz) sage derby sliced thick
- 12-14 slices pickled watermelon radish see above
- ½ cup mixed microgreens
- 1 avocado pitted, peeled, and sliced
For the Hummus
- Place the dried chickpeas in a bowl and cover with water. Let soak for 8 hours or overnight.1 cup dried chickpeas
- Drain the soaked chickpeas and place them in a small pot. Cover them with cold water and add the baking soda. Bring the chickpeas to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Let cook for 20 minutes or until very tender. Drain the chickpeas and rinse them under cold water. Set aside.½ tsp baking soda***
- While the chickpeas are cooking, arrange the peppers on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, cut side down. Place them under the broiler and cook until the skin blisters and turns black. About 15 minutes. Set the peppers aside to cool.2 shepherd peppers ****
- When the peppers are cool enough to handle, peel the skin away. Place the peeled peppers in a food processor and add the tahini, garlic, lemon juice, and salt. Blitz until very smooth.½ cup tahini, 1 clove garlic, 1 lemon *****, 1 tsp salt
- Scrape down the sides of the food processor and add the chickpeas and blitz again. Slowly stream in the olive and sesame oil. Stream in the ice water until the hummus reaches your desired consistency. Transfer the finished hummus to a bowl and set it aside.2-4 tbsp ice water, 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp sesame oil
Pickled Watermelon Radish
- Place the radish in a jar and set it aside.2 watermelon radishes
- In a small bowl whisk to combine the water, vinegar, salt, and sugar. Pour the mixture over the radish and let pickle at room temperature for a minimum of 2 hours. Or let pickle in the fridge overnight.½ cup white vinegar, ½ cup water, 1 tbsp granulated sugar, 1 tsp salt
For the Sandwiches
- Spread the hummus on all four slices of the toasted bread. Top the bottom slices with a few gem lettuce leaves followed by the cucumber slices. Top the cucumber with a slice of tomato, two slices of sage derby, pickled radish, micro greens, and avocado. Finish with a few additional gem lettuce leaves and place the remaining slices of toast on top.4 slices honey oatmeal bread, ½ cup Roasted Red Pepper Hummus, 1 head gem lettuce, 2 mini cucumbers, 1 large heirloom tomato, 100g (3.5oz) sage derby, 12-14 slices pickled watermelon radish, ½ cup mixed microgreens, 1 avocado
- Wrap the finished sandwiches snugly in parchment paper and slice them in half. Serve immediately with extra hummus on the side.