If you’re looking for a delicious, nutritious, and easy to prepare vegetable sandwich, Chef Jamie Simpson shares a perfect technique to turn just about any root vegetable into one with a deeply satisfying texture that’s perfect for sandwiches for your family.
At the Culinary Vegetable Institute, Jamie explains, we’ve known about the marvelous, meaty texture of shaved vegetables for at least a decade. That’s when one of the first chefs at the Culinary Vegetable Institute, Johannes Klapdor, served a beet carpaccio that was as tasty as any slice of beef. Plus, one of our friends of the farm, Dominic Crenn, has been serving these meaty interpretations of vegetables in her Michelin 3-Star flagship restaurant, Atelier Crenn.
“I am forever inspired by and grateful for the diversity of vegetables and all they have to offer,” Jamie says. “And, in the days when we’re cooking at home because it’s the only real option, I’ve decided to further explore this elusive, delicate space—that of making sandwiches out of root vegetables. Turns out, it's not so hard.”
Before we get to the recipe, here’s more about why it’s such a perfect sandwich to make:
It’s delicious when hot or cold.
This is a super versatile recipe, and you can switch out the root vegetables and greens you use. “I can easily picture,” Jamie says, “using sweet potato, parsnip, cabbage, and celery root. Your teeth could zip right through those textures.”
If you’d like, you can make this sandwich by featuring one single favorite vegetable and/or by making single-portion sliders.
“This doesn’t even need bread, really. You do you.”
“There are plenty of ways to go about making this sandwich,” Jamie says. “High-end chefs use elaborate methods, and then there are more streamlined ones that home cooks can use. The goal is to create a sandwich that provides the meaty satisfaction of root vegetables. Be sure to cook them on high heat, quickly, so they don’t get soft.”
Two More Tips
You can put out a variety of condiments—mustard, ketchup, something spicy—and set it up like a taco bar. Family members can add what they’d like or skip the condiments altogether if that’s their preference.
Plus, when in season, home delivery boxes from The Chef’s Garden often contain a bag of the best of the day’s harvest of root vegetables. (And, as the season changes, you’ll get the best of that day’s harvest—and we’ll provide more recipes!)
Root Vegetable Sandwich Recipe
1 baby beet, ideally badger flame or bulls blood
1 baby carrot, ideally dragon or chantenay
1 baby radish; watermelon would be great
1 baby Jerusalem artichoke
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ c chopped greens (arugula, kale, spinach, mustard)
1 spoonful of Dukes mayo
1 small hamburger bun
Shave any variety of root vegetables really thin and season them with salt as if you were eating them raw.
Wrap them and leave them out for a few hours or refrigerate them overnight.
When ready, use a large cast iron pan with the olive oil smoking hot.
Add the shaved root vegetables. Stir frequently with tongs, allowing a little bit of searing, and add the greens.
When the root vegetables are technically cooked and not raw, remove them from the heat. Very thinly, spread a layer of mayo on the bun and sear it in the hot pan. When toasted, remove it from the heat and add the remainder of the mayo to the bun.
Build the root vegetables and top with a bun. Serve whenever.