Scottish chefs and foodies share their recipes and tips ahead of Sandwich Week

Sarnies don’t have to be boring as these tips and recipes prove.

Published 13th May 2021
Updated 14 th May 2021

It’s Sandwich Week from May 16-23.

We’d like to celebrate, but, after a year or so of making our own soggy pieces and eating them in front of Bargain Hunt, inspiration is at rock bottom.

None of the classic fillings, like the BLT, egg mayo, fish fingers, our granny’s granulated sugar sarnie, our own half-hearted take on Pret-a-Manger’s jambon beurre or even salt and vinegar crisps in white bread, can pique our appetite.

Thus, we reached out to our foodie friends, who gave us a few suggestions, see below.

Matt Belcher and Natasha Ferguson, owners of Alby’s, Edinburgh

Choose the right bread - ideally something with crust on the top and bottom to hold in the sauce e.g. ciabatta or focaccia (we prefer softer bread to preserve the roof of your mouth).

"Leave sourdough for toast and open sangers, as the holes won't be your friend, and the filling will inevitably end up on your lap. If you have to use sliced bread, lightly toasting it will keep it from falling apart.

"Dress your salad - a squeeze of lemon juice, a drizzle of nice olive oil and a pinch of seasoning goes a long way to lift your leaves.

"Texture - we often make our own crisps, but some crunchy veg or lettuce will do the trick.

"Flavour your mayo - we're mega mayo fans at Alby's, we make gallons of it. It's a perfect vehicle for other flavours.

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"Snazzy pastes from the Asian supermarket like gochujang or miso, finely chopped herbs like dill or coriander or plain old pesto can be mixed into mayo (or, if you're vegan, tofu with a squeeze of lemon)”.

Narkisha Gallager

Narkisha Gallagher, head chef at The Register Club, Edinburgh

“Coronation chicken ticks all the boxes: it's spicy, uses up leftover chicken roast, and is best served as an open sandwich, so any kind of bread will suffice.

"We elevate it by combining makhani (butter chicken) sauce with crème fraiche, toasted flaked almonds, and dried apricots, all topped with pickled grapes and crunchy poppadom pieces.

"Vegetarians can substitute the chicken for roasted cauliflower.

"Also, Mull cheddar and banana ketchup is a unique alternative to grilled cheese.

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"The sweet and tangy Filipino condiment complements the strength of Mull cheddar, and you'd never guess it's made from bananas unless you were told. It's delicious.”

Freya Reinsch, wine expert, Edinburgh

“Add something pickled - fennel is the best and grilled cheese with lime pickle is sublime. Always save some gravy from roast dinners and mix it with mayo to spread on sandwiches”.

Joe Lazzerini, chef patron of The Loveable Rogue, Glasgow

“Make the most of your leftovers with the ultimate beef sandwich: use griddled ciabatta and fill with a dollop of Dijon mustard, sautéed onions and roast beef, topped with cheddar cheese - it's a classic.

"Or, spread a layer of pesto on a ciabatta, then top with sweet roasted peppers, leftover roast beef, and a slice of blue cheese for a Mediterranean-inspired alternative.

Nathan King, blogger at KungFuBBQ

“The best sandwich I have ever made or eaten was the goat Merguez patty melt by chef, Josh Katz. It features goat Merguez sausages, rye bread, harissa, goat's cheese, confit shallots, hazelnuts, rose petals and honey”.

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Nick Simons, head chef of Brioche, Edinburgh

“Take beef brisket, cooked low and slow down into tender strands, and team it with caramelized onions and cream cheese, best served on a brioche bun.

"I love onions cooked this way because they retain their natural sweetness, and the nature of the meat cooking method ensures that the beef is soft and tender, especially when served with a buttery toasted brioche roll”.

Claudia Liz Linden, private chef

“The Chilean ‘sandwich de ave pimenton’ - white sliced bread filled with a blend of minced chicken breast, roast red peppers and mayo is so simple but stunning and delicious”.

Jess Rose Young, owner of Jess Rose Young pop-up cafe at Bowhouse, Fife

“My dream sandwich filling is a hard one! The list is endless but I have whittled it down to two.

"I am a sucker for a Christmas sandwich, as I LOVE the stuffing. My Christmas sandwich at the cafe was - herby chicken, apricot and walnut stuffing (made using my sourdough breadcrumb and Sophie Cumber’s Butchery at Bowhouse sausage meat), harissa aioli and shredded sprouts.

"I also love a classic mozzarella, pesto and sun dried tomato toastie. Preferably on real focaccia, in Italy, in the sun”.

Debbie Ross, author and food blogger

“I know this is not going to excite everyone, but I adore a salad sarnie. It has to be on homemade seedy wholemeal.

"Add a crispy butterhead lettuce heart, tomato, spring onion and beetroot. The beetroot needs pepper, the onion needs salt. Mayo is optional. Homegrown salad essential”.

Graham Robson, head chef at Kilmurry & Co, Glasgow

“Tender, flavoursome ham hock works wonderfully with a tangy slaw and caramelised apple served on a hearty ciabatta.

"Some tips: remove any fat or rind from the ham hock, and use two forks to shred the meat.

"Get the bread from your local baker, like we do at Kilmurry - a rough shape, floury top and crunch on the outside while remaining soft and fluffy on the inside”.

Graham Robson of Kilmurry & Co

Sam Stevens, director and co-founder of MILK cafes, Edinburgh

“Our top favourite sandwich, which has been on the menu since day one is our Vietnamese peanut chicken, which is served on a flatbread with slaw and still as popular to this day.

"I believe a good sandwich has to contain something wet – yoghurt, chutney, pesto, a dressing, hummus, butter. After that anything goes”.

Nick Simons of Brioche

Gaby Soutar is a lifestyle editor at The Scotsman. She has been reviewing restaurants for The Scotsman Magazine since 2007 and edits the weekly food pages.
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