|It’s essential to wash the dirt off of lettuce. If it is organic, careful rinsing removes dirt and tiny green worms we found on the organic produce in Italy, where we were at the time of these photos. If it’s not organic, careful, repeated rinsing in cold water may remove some pesticides. Usually, we dry it with a clean white kitchen towel or paper towels, wrap the leftover lettuce in the white towel, and place it in the fridge in the towel, which will keep it fresh for days. For the recipe below, wash and dry eight large romaine lettuce leaves. Usually, the giant leaves are closest to the outside of the bunch.|
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Today’s photos are from July 23, 2013, while in Boveglio, Tuscany, Italy. See the link here for more photos.
|Slice fresh tomatoes, purple (or yellow) onions as you prep for making the sandwich.|
When I noticed the post from seven years ago today, while living high in the mountains of Tuscany, I couldn’t help but smile when we saw it consisted of the step-by-step instructions for making one of our favorite meals, the bread-free submarine sandwich.
|This sliced Emmental cheese or sliced Provolone cheese seems to add the most flavor to the sandwich. Try to avoid using overly processed American or cheddar cheese. There is no yellow/orange cheddar cheese in Italy since they don’t use dye to color it.|
With only two or three grams of carbohydrates per sandwich, this is an ideal meal along with low-carb coleslaw or green salad for a fun dinner, almost feeling like a delightful carry-out or a takeaway meal for movie night.
|Place the meats on a plate in preparation for assembling the sandwich. This mayonnaise was the best mayo we’d ever used, with no chemicals, few ingredients.|
Seeing the process of making this bread-free sandwich makes our mouths water. Wouldn’t we love one of these for tonight’s dinner, along with a big bowl of fresh, crunchy low-carb coleslaw?
|On the days we made the sandwiches, we usually had bacon and eggs for breakfast, made extra bacon for the sandwiches, refrigerated until we assembled the sandwiches.|
One may ask, this looks easy enough to make. Why couldn’t we put it together in our hotel room, when we have a small refrigerator? Most likely, we’d have trouble finding the meats, cheeses, and parchment paper online. Then there would be the concern over using undrinkable water to wash the lettuce, tomatoes, and onions. Too much trouble at this point.
|Parchment paper is readily available at any grocery store. We used it almost every day to cover the bottom of any pan going into the oven (don’t use it on top of the stove) to reduce the cleanup and ease in getting the food, such as pizza, out of the pan. It’s excellent for baking, but one must not use it over 375 degrees, or it may burn. Do not use it when broiling. If you eat potatoes or sweet potatoes, parchment is ideal for making oven fries. Toss pre-cut potatoes with olive oil and salt and place in a preheated oven to (190C), 375F, baking for 30 minutes or until brown, tossing every so often. Best fries ever. For this sandwich recipe, we cut two pieces of about (75 cm) 30 inches each to wrap the ingredients as one would wrap a tortilla.|
We haven’t prepared a meal in six months. Also, we have no space to put it all together. It’s simply not practical at this time. We’ll wait until we’re situated in a holiday home somewhere in the world and can make the process fun, as will be the case when we finally have the opportunity to prepare some of our other favorite meals.
|To begin making the sandwich, lay two large romaine lettuce leaves, overlapping, end to end, centered in the parchment paper, the long way. Be sure the lettuce is dry to avoid a soggy mess later.|
Tom is chomping at the bit for some beef and pork (although we can order bacon), which has not been on my mind quite as much as his. More so, I’ve been thinking about fish, salads, and delicious one-pot dishes we’ve loved over the years. A glass of wine would be nice, too.
|Place the turkey or chicken slices atop the lettuce, cover with tomatoes. It’s OK to add more if you’d like. We prefer this smaller amount.|
This recipe isn’t only for those avoiding bread, carbs, or starches. It’s so tasty. It would appeal to any family members or singles who enjoy eating a wrap, in this case, a pseudo-wrap.
|Place the cheese atop the tomatoes adding the mayonnaise using the spatula or broad knife.|
Also, if one prefers, they can use the simple ingredients inside a jumbo tortilla wrap of any other type of round or oval sandwich wrap. Two critical elements are the bacon, cooked well, and a good quality mayonnaise, slathered on as shown in today’s photos.
|Ham slices in Italy are different than deli ham slices in other countries, more fatty with no nitrates, but less flavorful than ham slices in the US. One can add or delete any items in this sandwich. But, the most essential things for maximum flavor are bacon, cheese, and mayonnaise. Sliced roast beef also works well when available. We would have purchased roast beef in Italy but, it was INR 3139, US $42 a pound, so we were content with the ham and sliced chicken.|
A few of our readers wrote last time we posted this recipe was, “Can these “subway sandwiches” be made in advance, and will they keep overnight?”
|Layer the cooked bacon and onion slices.|
As with any sandwich, they aren’t as great the next day. But, if you leave out the tomato and lettuce, they’ll keep for three days. Unfortunately, the sandwich will have to be fully unwrapped to add the tomato and lettuce a few days later, but wrapping the parchment paper is easy if wrapped tightly. Unwrap, add the tomatoes and lettuce, and then re-wrap the parchment using the same parchment paper.
|After layering all the ingredients, lay two more dry pieces of the romaine lettuce atop, matching up the length of the sandwich to avoid a lot of overlap on the ends.|
Is the parchment paper a must? Can you use waxed paper or tin foil? Preferably not since the waxed paper doesn’t hold it together, and tin foil is OK only if used to additionally wrap a parchment-wrapped sandwich for added insulation.
|Please fold the paper over the sandwich on edge closest to you, beginning to roll it tightly. Re-wrap it if it’s not tight enough. After a few times, you’ll get the hang of it.|
As mentioned in the previous post on this date in 2013, we started making these after visiting a Jimmy John’s sandwich shop before we left the US and were delighted to eat their version of the bread-free sandwich, the “Unwich.”
|Tuck one end over as if you were gift-wrapping a package.|
If you live near a Jimmy John’s store, you can avoid the fuss and buy from them. But, our version is much heartier, more filling, and tastier than the fast-food version.
While in the US, we purchased the meats from Costco since they sell gluten-free, sugar-free, and nitrate-free meats. Surprisingly, we’ve had no trouble finding such meats in other parts of the world.
|Continue to roll it tightly, tucking in both ends, leaving one end loose for unwrapping it as it is eaten. Using a few well-placed wide rubber bands helps those who may have difficulty pulling the paper down neatly.|
If sliced, good-quality deli meats aren’t available in your area, you can use leftover thinly sliced roast beef, chicken breast, and lean ham, removing all fat from the edges of the slices.
The only countries we haven’t been able to get bacon have been those that don’t sell pork due to religious beliefs. We didn’t make these sandwiches in those countries since bacon is such a vital ingredient for the superb flavor.
|The final product, tightly wrapped, ready to chill, and enjoy with a side salad.|
Here’s the list of ingredients (for two to three sandwiches):
Jess & Tom’s Unwich Sandwiches
One large ripe tomato, sliced medium thickness
One large purple onion, thinly sliced
8-12 large washed and thoroughly dried romaine lettuce leaves
Four slices Provolone cheese (or other preferred sliced cheese)
6 ounces sliced deli ham
6 ounces sliced deli turkey or chicken
6 ounces sliced roast beef or other preferred sliced meat
Six slices of cooked bacon
Mayonnaise (Tom doesn’t like mayo but in this sandwich, he does. Give it a try or use another sandwich spread you prefer).
Parchment paper, cut into two 30′ long pieces.
If two sandwiches are made from this list of ingredients, they will be huge. I often eat half of one for dinner and the second half the next day, not minding the somewhat soggy tomato and lettuce.
For us, we prepare sufficiently sized meals to last three dinners, enabling us to cook less often. In those cases, we triple these ingredients and make up a fresh sandwich each evening. We place all the meats in a Tupperware-type container with a lid, and they easily keep for three days.
We can’t wait to prepare our meals again!
Photo from one year ago today, July 23, 2019:
|Cattle along the driveway from our house in Connemara, Ireland, could have been a mom, dad, and calves. For more photos, please click here.|