How to upgrade your favourite sandwich. MUST CREDIT: Photo by Stacy Zarin Goldberg for The Washington Post.
The greatest thing since sliced bread.

We've all heard and probably used the famous adage, and as transformative as that innovation was, to me it leaves out half (at least) of the equation - that is, everything that goes between those slices.

Yes, I'm talking about the sandwich. Without the filling, all you have with sliced bread is . . . thinner bread.

There are about as many reasons to love sandwiches as there are ways to make them. They're portable and you can eat them with your hands. They're fast, easy and cheap to make. Oh, and they're fun!

That's where these recipes come in. If your familiar brown-bag sandwich has left you feeling kind of blue, fear not. We took five classic lunch sandwiches and gave them a boost. These updates won't make them unrecognisable or twee, but they will make them taste fresh, flavourful and special.

But first, a few sandwich best practices:

Don't overstuff

Sure, you can put anything in a sandwich. That doesn't mean you should put everything in a sandwich. Being judicious with your filling means you can focus on a few quality ingredients. Plus, the sandwich will stand a chance of actually holding together.

Incorporate flavours in high-impact, low-volume ways

There are plenty of strategies for amping up flavour without making your sandwich heftier. Whip up a flavoured mayo (call it an aioli, if you like) by doctoring it with Sriracha, chipotle peppers, citrus zest and more. Incorporate a spice blend into yoghurt. Re-purpose bacon fat for toasting bread. You might be surprised how creative - and thrifty - you can be.

Aim for a mix of textures

It's just as important as the right balance of flavours. Choose elements across a few categories, including creamy, crunchy, crispy, saucy and soft.

Protect the bread

Insulate the bread when using wet fillings, or at least wait to assemble until you're ready to eat. Something fatty (butter, mayo) or a slice of cheese can do the trick. So does toasting the sides of the bread that will face the inside of the sandwich. This also gives your teeth something soft to sink into first.

Protect the sandwich

Why go through the effort of making a sandwich only to pull it out of your bag smashed? Do yourself a favour and pack your home-made beauty in a hard-sided container or sturdy lunch bag. If you really want to be extra, wrap it in parchment or wax paper first.
 
The Washington Post