Sometimes you just don’t feel like eating your salad out of a bowl. I get it. I always have a piece of bread along side my salads to sop up every luscious bit of dressing. But one day, I found myself scooping up bits of salad and putting them on top of my bread. And then it came to me. Any salad can be a sandwich!
For this easy spring salad, fresh baby spinach, crunchy English cucumbers, creamy avocado slices, mild sliced shallots and herbed goat cheese are bathed in a light balsamic dressing and piled onto slices of crusty French sourdough bread slathered with tangy lemon hummus.
I feel like Oprah when I tell you that I LOVE BREAD! My latest obsession is Wegman’s Pain de Campagne. It’s a wonderful French sourdough with amazing texture and flavor. I usually buy it sliced. But for these salad sandwiches, I got a whole loaf. It is the perfect crusty, chewy vessel for this fresh, crunchy and creamy salad.
I often find myself substituting spinach for lettuce when I’m making a sandwich. And many times, I’ll spread hummus on my bread instead of mayo. So it made perfect sense to put these two favorite ingredients of mine into this salad. When I make my own hummus, I make it extra lemony. But when I use store bought hummus, I’ll squeeze the juice of a lemon along with some zest into the hummus. And I love that extra lemony flavor in this salad, too.
Salad sandwiches are a fun, easy, portable way to eat a salad. But it’s also a great way to use up leftover salad, too. The hummus is really a star in this salad. It perks up day old bread and keeps your slippery salad together. I slather it on both pieces of bread!
Honestly, just about any salad can be a sandwich. Here are some ideas on how to MAKE IT YOUR OWN:
- You can use as many ingredients as you wish. I try to keep it around 4. That way you can focus on the flavors of the veggies you are using. And the salad doesn’t become so messy to eat.
- I try to pick veggies with contrasting textures. I’m using a soft crusty bread. So I like to have crunchy and creamy elements to the salad.
- Some crunchy elements to consider: cucumbers, corn, grated carrots, bell peppers, celery, fennel, radishes, broccoli, cauliflower.
- Some soft or creamy elements to consider: cooked beets, avocados, peas, roasted carrots, tomatoes, beans, cooked veggies.
- Feel free to add fruit to your salad. Apples and pears for crunch. Berries are a good choice for a softer ingredient.
- The hummus you use will add a lot of great flavor. And since there are so many varieties out there, you can really get creative. I’ve made sandwiches using carrot and beet hummus. So delicious!
- Don’t care for hummus? Use your favorite vegetable dip, tzatziki, baba ganoush, or salsa.
- Any cheese will work. So use your favorite and what makes sense for your salad.
- Likewise, any greens will work. Again, use your favorite and what goes well in your salad.
- Choose your favorite bread. French baguettes, focaccia or pretzel rolls may be your thing. Or maybe you’ll use pita, naan, flatbread or wraps.
- Make these salad sandwiches seasonal. Maybe zucchini and corn in the summer. Asparagus and mushrooms in the spring. Squash and cranberries in the winter. You get the idea!
- Look to your favorite food culture for inspiration. Maybe that’s a good Greek salad stuffed into pita pockets. Or your favorite caprese salad on focaccia. Or perhaps your salad will be inspired by the flavors of Asia, Morocco or India? Anything is possible!
- Just a note: make your salad separately and dress it lightly, just enough to coat your veggies and give them flavor.
- 1 round loaf of French sourdough bread
- 1 English cucumber, halved lengthwise, seeded and sliced
- 1 avocado, sliced
- 1 shallot, thinly sliced
- 4 ounces of herbed goat cheese
- ½ cup of hummus
- 2 cups of baby spinach
- 1 Tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon of white balsamic vinegar
- salt & pepper to taste
- Place the cucumber slices, avocado slices and onions in a bowl.
- Drizzle with olive oil and vinegar.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Toss lightly.
- Cut the boule in half with a serrated knife.
- Optional: If the bread is very thick you can hollow out the bottom half a bit.
- Spread half of the hummus on the bottom.
- Top with half of the spinach.
- Spoon half of the salad onto the spinach layer.
- Crumble half of the goat cheese evenly over the salad layer.
- Repeat the layering one more time.
- Spread the remaining hummus on the top layer.
- Place the top on the sandwich and press firmly.
- Cut the sandwich into wedges and serve.
All of my salads and dressings are just a starting place for your imagination. So feel free to add or swap ingredients and do what works for you!