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5 Picnic Sandwiches and Inspirations for the Fourth of July

5 Picnic Sandwiches and Inspirations for the Fourth of July

Declare your independence from boring sandwiches and check out these wonderful recipes for Fourth of July picnic fixings that are anything but ordinary.

These sandwich and wrap recipes are perfect for picnics, but they also translate beautifully to school or office lunchboxes. You can use these as springboards for your own creativity, or try the recipes as they are: there is something here for everyone, and the end results are intriguing, fun, and delicious.

Try the Scandinavian, or the French Provincial, the Vegan Southwestern or the Middle Eastern–or even the Vegan Tuscan Sun! Plus some great suggestions to get your creativity going!

1. Provincial French
Butter
Gruyere cheese, thinly sliced, or soft Brie
Radish, thinly sliced
Sprouts from sunflower seeds or peas (or mesclun, if sprouts are unavailable)
Sprinkle of Herbes de Provence (includes thyme, basil, sage, rosemary, marjoram, fennel seed, and lavender)

Split and butter a small baguette or French roll. Add other ingredients and salt and pepper to taste. This is one sandwich that is safe to make ahead because it won’t get soggy.

2. Vegan Tuscan Sun
Leftover cooked eggplant, peppers, zucchini, and onions–or a combination
Sundried tomatoes packed in oil, drained, or fresh tomato, thinly sliced
Oil-cured olives, pitted and sliced
Minced garlic
Dried rosemary
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients. When ready to eat sandwich, stuff pita or spread wrap or bread with filling.

Fun variation: Cut a small Italian loaf in half crosswise. Hollow out the inside of both halves with your hands, saving the soft interior bread for another use. Just before eating, stuff the loaf cavities firmly with vegetable mixture. May be cut into rounds and skewered with toothpicks to keep them together.

Non-vegan variation: Add some shaved Pecorino cheese.

3. Scandinavian
Havarti or cream cheese with plenty of dill
Potato salad, lightly mashed
Hard-cooked egg, sliced
Thinly sliced cooked beets, patted dry

Spread bread of choice with cream cheese or Havarti. Add a layer of mashed potato salad and top with egg and beet slices. Salt and pepper to taste.

4. Vegan Southwestern
Refried beans
Shredded cheddar or Jalapeno pepper jack (non-vegan option)
Salsa
Leftover Corn Relish Salad, with excess dressing drained off
Lettuce or mesclun greens

Spread a wrap or flour tortilla with refried beans. Top with Corn Relish Salad, a little salsa, and shredded cheese, if using. Salt and pepper to taste. Place salad greens or lettuce on top and roll wrap up. (The beans serve as a moisture barrier, so this is safe to make ahead.)

Variation: Try using leftover guacamole in place of the salsa. Or simply add sliced avocado to your sandwich (with a few drops of lime juice to prevent too much discoloration). Sliced canned jalapeno pepper adds spice, too!

5. Vegan Middle Eastern
Hummus or baba ghanoush, depending on your preference
Leftover cooked couscous
Thinly sliced cucumber and red onion
Lettuce
Salt and pepper to taste

Stuff pita with ingredients.

Inspirations for your own creations:

Bread Alternatives:
Sandwich loaves are great, but it can be fun to try something new. There’s a world of possibility out there!

Toasted English muffins
Pitas
Flavored wraps (our local grocery store carries sundried tomato, spinach, and three-cheese wraps, among others–see what you can find)
Indian soft breads, like nan or paratha
Flour tortillas
Croissants
Bagels

Ideas for fillings:
Besides the usual lettuce and tomato, try adding cooked leftover veggies to your sandwiches.

And if you’re tired of peanut butter, try almond or cashew butter–they’re rich and delicious! Add a sliced banana or apple and you’ve got yourself a great sandwich.

Be sure to try the Eggless Salad as a pita or wrap stuffing.

Check out your local deli for some cheese ideas you may have never tried before. Smoked gouda with honey mustard, gorgonzola with sliced pear, feta with cucumber and tomato, bleu with walnuts and spinach–the possibilities are endless!

And you may also want to try these sandwich favorites! Enjoy.

Read more: Food, All recipes, Entrees, , , , , , ,

By Cait Johnson, author of Witch in the Kitchen (Inner Traditions, 2001).

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Cait Johnson

Cait Johnson, MFA, is the author of six books, including Earth, Water, Fire, and Air: Essential Ways of Connecting to Spirit, Witch in the Kitchen, Celebrating the Great Mother and Tarot Games. She has been a counselor for more than 20 years, and teaches workshops on seasonal elemental approaches to self-healing, conscious eating, and soul-nurturing creativity.

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13 comments

+ add your own
6:18AM PDT on May 8, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

10:46AM PDT on Apr 10, 2013

Yummy recipes,Thanks for sharing

6:18AM PST on Feb 23, 2013

Thanks for the great recipes!

6:04AM PST on Feb 23, 2013

Thank you Cait, for Sharing this!

11:45PM PDT on Oct 16, 2011

Excellent article. Thanks for sharing.

8:27PM PDT on Sep 22, 2011

Interesting veggie recipes.

11:25AM PDT on Jun 22, 2011

Aubergines can be sliced not very chunky,marinaded with little spice of your choice, salt n pepper,grill,roast or fry in shallow olive oil. Great with naan or as a sandwich.

12:39PM PDT on May 14, 2010

I can't wait to try the middle eastern with the hummus. I may be of direct Scandinavian descent, but I hate beets (no matter how pretty they are!)and will have to find an alternative vegetable for that. I'm just glad there's no lutefisk in it! ;D

5:00PM PST on Feb 28, 2010

the scandinaivian one is missing pickles or pickled red cabbage called rødkål. I dont see dill being very popular here either. Cheese yes, thats the only vegetarian choice you have or eggs..

I think a pate is more scandinavian, from walnuts :)

6:34AM PDT on Sep 8, 2009

How about marking this as a vegetarian post so the meat eaters can skip it if they're not interested in meatless food?

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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