Sunday, 15 October 2017

Salad in my sandwich ~ and my favourite no-fuss salad oil and wrappers

A well made salad sandwich can be a meal in itself, a great way to pack in all those good fresh veggies and make them really tasty.  This needn't involve costly or pre-made ingredients.  In this salad shown below, I've chopped and mixed rocket greens and tomato with my oh-so-easy salad oil.  There's cheese underneath the salad veggies.  I've lately cut down on dairy products, and found that chopped walnuts (very nutritious) are delicious in place of cheese, or even with it, for that matter, although rather rich!

Simply-the-easiest salad oil:
I make the salad oil up freshly each time and when I say easy I mean really easy: for one serving, for a sandwich filling, or to go on the side with other food, I put half a teaspoon each of cider vinegar and vegetable oil, and a pinch of salt.  That's it, no sugar, no preservatives, no special ingredients, no equipment required other than a bowl, fork and spoon.  I put the salad oil into a small bowl, add the chopped tomato, turn it over to coat it nicely, then add the chopped salad greens and any other ingredients and it's ready.  That simple salad oil is just enough to coat the veggies and make them really tasty.  It also holds everything together ever so slightly. 

Before I started using this salad oil I often used tomato relish to add flavour, but have found that I no longer want it, so that's another simplification in my pantry and shopping. 

Sandwich wrapping - cloth napkins:
I like my sandwiches absolutely bursting with goodies with the predictable result that eating them readily results in bits of filling going in all directions, so the sensible thing to do is to wrap them so that everything is contained while I'm munching them up.  For a while I used paper lunch wrap; then it occured to me that a cloth wrap would be nicer to hold and way more elegant.  I thought of a set of table napkins I've hardly ever used which would be about the right size and style, and that I could make them like that.  Then it occured to me that actually those would do just as they were, and decided to try them out.  If they got a bit stained, never mind, they were for wrapping food after all! I've done this for a while now and found these napkin sandwich wraps a great success:

They do get a bit marked, but not enough to matter.  I tried not even rinsing them after use to see how well and found it made work soaping marks out prior to machine washing and that even then marks tended to linger, even though they were not all that noticable.  The best way to care for them is to rinse them in cold water in the kitchen sink after using, and then toss them in a bucket to go through with the ordinary washing.  This is much more effective and no bother.  

But what about wrapping for picnic lunches, or taken sandwiches to school or work?  There is absolutely no need to use plastic wrap.  Since this is a hobby horse of mine I'll repeat that: There Is Absolutely No Need To Use Plastic Wrap!  Waxed paper is just fine.

Paper wrap for sandwiches:
Fabric wraps are fine when eating at home, but when going out I use waxed paper by Mono:

There you go, neat and tidy and no fuss at all.  Don't be deterred by the prospect of the bread drying out: I've never found this a problem, and if it is for you where you live, read on below about damp muslin cloths.

Continuing on about the paper wrapping: once finished with it it's not wasted: toss it into the sink, pull it apart and put it in the compost bucket.  It's already decomposing and has its place in the food chain.  At my place that compost will go into nourishing the garden.  That's how it should be!  The cycle of goodness and nourishment continues.

Keeping sandwiches fresh, from the days before plastic wrap: damp muslin cloths!  
I remember my mother and other women using these to cover plates of sandwiches prepared before guests arrived - easy, effective and once you have them, no cost other than ordinary laundering.  The value of muslin for this purpose is that when damp or wet it adapts its shape and clings in a way that other cotton fabrics and polyester don't.   (Note to self: I must make some!)

If using a lunch box and wanting to ensure that sandwiches don't dry out, you might like to try one of these in that.  Away from home a chilly bag or ice brick would ensure coolness. 

There is no one right way to do things.  
It's well worth experimenting with different ways of doing things that suit us and our difference lives.  For me an important guiding principle is to keep an open mind and continue experiementing to find what is wholesome and practical for myself.  That makes ordinary everyday things satisfying.
My other articles about food and recipes here:

My articles about housekeeping and shopping are here:
My gardening articles are here:


Anonymous said...

"...A diagonal cut through the first sandwich showed red tomato and green lettuce attractively displayed in the slash. The walnuts crunched as the knife went diagonally through the second sandwich..." - I was instantly put in mind of these words from Edith Schaeffer's "The Hidden Art of Homemaking". Delicious sandwiches!
It's a graceful idea to use a napkin to hold the sandwich; as for cling-film, I remember my school lunches remaining pretty fresh in waxed paper, or the real greaseproof paper one could buy then.
The damp muslin cloths keep plates of sandwiches beautifully fresh.
Best wishes - Valerie.

Leigh Christina Russell said...

Thanks for that, Valerie, and interesting to hear that your experience of waxed paper, etc, and the damp muslin tally with mine. Nice quote from Edith Schaeffer's book which I see is still available.
Best wishes to you too,