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Nancy Silverton's Fancy-Pants Sandwich Cookbook

Nancy Silverton's Fancy-Pants Sandwich Cookbook

How you feel about Nancy Silverton's Sandwich Book depends on how you feel about sandwiches. If you see sammies as a fast dinner option on a busy night, then this is not the book for you. But if you prefer to elevate your humble sandwich with gourmet ingredients, then you should give Silverton's book a shot. As she writes in the intro, "Don't look at them as complicated sandwiches, but as satisfying entrees on bread."

This cookbook grew out of the Thursday sandwich nights at LA restaurant Campanile, where different twists on classics like the grilled cheese are showcased every week. The 100-plus recipes are divided into eight categories, some more sandwichy than others. For a detailed breakdown,


The recipes fall under various headings: open-faced and closed-faced sandwiches, tea sandwiches, "sort-of sandwiches," bar snacks, sandwich cookies, condiments, and breads. As you can probably guess, Silverton's sandwich philosophy lets cooks choose between complexity and (relative) simplicity.

If you prefer, you can make everything from scratch, right down the homemade hot dog buns and caper onion mayonnaise. Or, to prevent the less fussy sandwiches, such as the pancetta, lettuce, and tomato, from getting too fancy, you can use store-bought aioli and other ready-made ingredients.

Admittedly, even the simpler sandwiches in Silverton's book are way more complicated than your standard PB&J. But combinations like Gorgonzola, radicchio, honey, and walnuts are truly creative, and Silverton always offers substitutions for the more exotic ingredients, such as pequillo peppers, that might be hard to find. As for the labor-intensive individual elements, such as braised artichokes, what the recipes require in extra steps pays off in extra flavor.

Have any of you cooked any sandwiches from this book? Or eaten at the Thursday sandwich nights at Campanile? If so, please share in the comments!

Join The Conversation
verily verily 8 years
I don't think I'd buy this as I'm not a huge sandwich eater, and generally I just like to experiment with what's on hand to make a tasty sammie. I think I would look over it in the library though and maybe seek out an interesting recipe or two.
quitecontrary quitecontrary 8 years
I'd love this book! I'm such a sammich girl. Here in Italy, the panino really is a staple, and therefore an art. Best combo I've had so far- buffalo ricotta, sundried tomato paste, oregano and prociutto cotto. Mmmmm.
codewhiz codewhiz 8 years
Yes I've partaken of the grilled cheese night at Campanile one time. But it was so long ago that I can't remember.
Just-Oh Just-Oh 8 years
I've been using Silverton's bread loaf recipe for several years, it turns out a scrumptious crusty bread every time. I use the sandwich recipes more for inspirational value, though.
itsme3683 itsme3683 8 years
My mom got me this book a year or so ago after I complained that my boyfriend only eats sandwiches and was SO boring (lol). I really like it and it has a lot of REALLY clever ideas, you just have to be thinking about it because a lot of the ingredients aren't necessarily things that you have around. YUMMY though.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
this will make a great gift i think - especially for my fiance since he's always making sandwiches. i'm tired of seeing the same thing from him all the time and i'm sure that he's ready for a change. i wonder if it's on amazon or if i have to search it out at the bookstore.
L0neLyHeArT L0neLyHeArT 8 years
I'm going to give this a must-read on my list..
allinavhcnerf allinavhcnerf 8 years
hey, i just picked this up at the library! they have so many good combos!
DMBloyola6 DMBloyola6 8 years
I'm thinking Yum needs to do a giveaway... :)
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