I can’t remember when I started making my own lunches for school, but I do remember that I would get into a lunch rut where I would pack the same thing every day. A sandwich, a yogurt, an apple (peeled and sliced by my mom – I had to draw the line of independence somewhere), some crackers, and a juice box.
At one point, it was bologna on white bread with mustard. Every day.
After that, I thought I’d never eat bologna ever again. Until I had the shaved bologna sandwich at Home of the Brave. Ever since then, I can’t seem to get away from sandwich meat.
Next it was the tigella cicchetto (Italian for “small bite”) at Bar Buca. I’m not even sure what went into it, but there was mortadella in the description and it was one of the most delicious things I’ve ever tasted.
But the straw that broke the camel’s back was the griddled mortadella sandwich from Lardo. Based in Portland, this sandwich shop came to visit Toronto for Cask Days 2016 and man, was this sandwich ever delicious!
Just the right amount of greasy, cheesy, salty, and vinegary. And pretty simple too! Perfect for recreating at home.
Last year, I hope I converted you all into spam lovers. This year, it’s mortadella.
Makes 3 sandwiches with a medium amount of meat in each
250 g mortadella, sliced
3 slices provolone cheese
3 Kaizer buns
Pickled sweet or spicy peppers (I used pepperoncini), chopped
Mayo and grainy mustard to taste
Heat oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Heat a large frying pan over medium heat. Fry about 3 slices of mortadella at a time. They don’t have to be completely flat, but you want a large enough surface to get nice and browned. They cook fast so keep an eye on them. 1-2 minutes per side should be more than enough. Set fried slices aside and continue until all the mortadella is fried.
Cut buns in half and arrange on prepared pan. Heat in oven for about 5 minutes until warm and toasty.
While buns are toasting, arrange mortadella into sandwich size piles. I used this amount for 3 sandwiches, but you could make two with more meat, or one giant one.
Place meat piles back onto frying pan. Top each with a slice of cheese and cover pan with a large pot lid so that cheese melts, about a minute.
The buns should be done toasting now. Remove from oven and spread one half of each bun with grainy mustard and one half with mayo. Place a meat/cheese pile on each bun bottom. Top with marinated peppers and shredded lettuce. Finish with bun top. To serve, cut each bun in half.