The Mighty Sandwich

Ah, the mighty sandwich.. a myriad of opportunity and potential. From the simple sliced tomato, olive oil, and salt joined between two thick slices of ciabatta, to the gourmet and extravagant loaves of artisanal bread marrying within their crusts lavish meats, exotic vegetables, succulent fungi, and sauces requiring the precision of a tenure chemist to reproduce.

Today a sandwich can be made from anything, you don’t even need the bread, but don’t forget about that little ingredient, and how closely our species is tied to it. Our species began milling wild wheat and rye thousands of years ago creating versions of bread very unique from our modern counterparts. Once agriculture was established the amount of bread increased and slowly made it’s way into being a staple food for many cultures across the world. Once industrialization took hold, bread became so cheap and easy to produce that it became a cornerstone food for millions of people.

With increased understanding of our anatomy and physiology, many people have developed a dislike for the food. Between the high carbohydrate content and the potentially very inflammatory gluten, breads are often demonized today.

I’m not making an argument for eating bread, and I’m not postulating that you shouldn’t. But this morning, as I made this sandwich, I couldn’t help but think about our long assorted love affair with this simple food, and give a little thanks for that history that defines so much of who we are today.

Roasted Eggplant with Chipotle and Pesto
-Garlic/Onion Roll
-Vegan Avocado Mayo
-Homemade Pesto
-Sweet Bulb Onion
-Chipotle Powder

Slice up some eggplant, salt both sides and let it sweat. Rinse off the salt and moisture before dicing the eggplant and roasting it on the stove with thin slices of the white half of the onion, chipotle powder, salt and pepper. Spread some avocado mayo on the sliced bread and toast it in the same pan while the roasted veg hangs out for a minute. After taking the bread off the pan, slap some pesto on both sides, add the eggplant and onion, and top with the fresh onion greens.

You can of course change any ingredient for anything else, this is just what I made and what I found to taste quite good. As a note, I made the pesto at home after finding myself with a huge excess of beet greens after several fermented beet experiments. While the taste is simply divine, the red from the beets mixed with the green chlorophyll from the leaves left a hideously unappealing grey colored pesto instead of a lively, vivid green typical of a normal pesto.

With all that said, I hope the next time you are cooking or eating your next meal you take a moment to think about the history of the food you’re consuming. With a little extra though, and a little gratitude, we can change the world.

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