The Man Sandwich : A Tempting July 4th Feast

{photo by Sara Remington}

My baby brother is a serious gardener. He credits me as inspiration (and I humbly accept) though he and his fiancé have far surpassed my own meager harvest at TK Farms {Tim + Karen Farms}, their sizable community plot in their burb outside of Chicago.

This week, I was home with my family. Mom, Greta and I made our annual trip to her farmers market. There we met Farmer Nick the meat man, who spends Wednesday mornings at mom’s market, and the afternoon 45 miles away at Tims farmer's market in Grayslake.

I think you know my brother, I said to Nick, and told him his name.

“Tim? Yes, Mr. Rib eye!

Yep, thats him. A good old-fashioned, steak-eating Midwestern boy. My brother. And though there hasnt been a steak in my household since just about the day I wed, my bro and I have a lot in common in the food department. For starters, we both love a summer supper that starts in the garden and is served right off the grill.

My bros garden has a hefty head start on mine, and hes already got a bumper crop of the ever-prolific zucchini. So, I thought it was high time to remind him and all the other grill and garden lovers out there about this summer sandwich I dreamed up with you all in mind. Its got a flavor and a name Im mighty proud of, and is as worthy of a slot on your July 4th roster as anything I know. 

The Man Sandwich is made with grilled purple onions, zucchini and merguez, a spicy lamb sausage from North Africa, but its just as good with any freshly made spicy sausage you can get your hands on. It turns out Farmer Nick has some pretty kickin sausages too, so I think we all know whats on Tim's menu for the fourth.

Baby bro, this ones for you.

P.S. {Make it Meatless}
For the Mostly Vegetarian crowd, we make a meatless version with grilled portabella, Muenster cheese and double doses of zucchini and onion. De-lish! Don't miss this one...


The Man Sandwich

In the middle of July, the prolific garden zucchini/courgette beg your creativity. Turn its bounty into a man-sized sandwich grilled alongside a coil of spicy sausage and sweet spring onions. Stack the three together into a hearty sandwich that’s a summer meal in every bite. This is guy food at its delicious best.

Serves 2
12-ounce/340 g coil spicy beef or lamb sausage such as merguez, or spicy Italian sausage
1 large zucchini cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
2 spring {bulb} onions, thickly sliced
1/4 cup/60 ml extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 slices whole-wheat or seven-grain sandwich bread
Herb Mayo {see below}

Preheat the grill or a grill pan until hot. Lay the sausage on the hottest part of the grill and cook until crisp, about 6 minutes. Turn the sausage and grill until cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes depending on thickness of sausage. Remove to a platter to rest.

Meanwhile, drizzle the zucchini and onion slices with olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper.

While the sausage cooks on the second side, add the vegetables to the grill. Cook until crisp-tender and lightly charred, about 4 minutes per side. Add the bread to the grill about 2 minutes before veggies are finished and toast on both sides.

Spread Herb Mayo on 2 slices of grilled bread. Slice the sausages and divide sausage and grilled veggies between the 2 sandwiches. Top with remaining bread. Serve warm with lots of napkins.


Herb Mayo

Life really picks up when you add this green mayo to sandwiches and serve it as a dipping sauce for fries or fresh veggies. Its green comes from fresh herbs {use your favorites, in any combination} and its body from Greek yogurt, with a touch of a store-bought mayo for creamy sweetness.

Makes about 1 cup/240 ml

1 packed cup parsley, dill, mint, basil, or chives leaves, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup/75 ml Greek yogurt
3 tablespoons/45 ml olive-oil mayonnaise or regular mayonnaise
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 to 3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Blend herbs, yogurt, mayo, and olive oil, in a mini food processor or blender until smooth and flecked with green. Pulse in lemon juice, adding just enough to give it the right balance for you. Taste and season with salt and pepper.


Unknown said...

Wow, Sarah, I don't know how I didn't come across this the first time I read the book! This would make my gaggle of brothers verrrrrrrry happy!

Kate Ramos said...

Yum! I can see myself with a forkful of all the goodies and dipping the whole lot in the mayo. Sounds delicious!

With Style and Grace said...

oh my, this is a beautiful sandwich! my [meat eating] husband would go CRAZY for this.

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New York City, United States
Sarah Copeland is a food and lifestyle expert, and the author of Feast: Generous Vegetarian Meals for Any Eater and Every Appetite, and The Newlywed Cookbook. She is the Food Director at Real Simple magazine, and has appeared in numerous national publications including Saveur, Health, Fitness, Shape, Martha Stewart Living and Food & Wine magazines. As a passionate gardener, Sarah's Edible Living philosophy aims to inspire good living through growing, cooking and enjoying delicious, irresistible whole foods. She thrives on homegrown veggies, stinky cheese and chocolate cake. Sarah lives in New York with her husband and their young daughter.