The Ultimate Salami Sandwich with Focaccia & Pickled Red Onion
This salami sandwich with focaccia and pickled red onion combines sweet, fresh, tangy, savoury, peppery and creamy in each delicious bite. The star of the show is the salami, together with grilled aubergine, pickled red onion, fresh salad leaves, creamy aioli and spicy Calabrian chilli. It makes for a mouth-watering gourmet sandwich for meat lovers and is perfect between chargrilled slices of crispy golden focaccia. And, with a few tweaks, you can be enjoying it in less than 15 minutes!
Focaccia sandwiches are literally on just about everyone’s lips this spring in London. And this salami sandwich is an easy-to-make option in my sandwich week series. You should also consider giving my Focaccia Sandwich with Roast Chicken Filling and this Aubergine Sandwich with Focaccia & Tahini Yoghurt a try. They’re all supremely satisfying – and make for perfect picnic food.
Pre-orders for these focaccia sandwiches at various bakeries across London are selling out within a minute. So, if you haven’t yet managed to get yours, you can still enjoy the fresh yummy sando’s that everyone’s talking about. Simply make your own!
Curing is considered to be one of the oldest ways of flavouring and preserving meat, and food generally.
And I’m not talking 1970s ancient, either.
In fact, Mesopotamian people were preserving meat and fish in sesame oil and salt more than 3000 years ago!
And by 200 BCE, curing meat was popular throughout Europe, and rather than just a means of survival, it became a refined culinary process. Of course, we have the French to thank for the invention of the charcuterie board – which became a popular delicacy of kings and nobles at the time. Remember that the next time you’re tucking into a charcuterie board, you incredibly cultured and refined gourmet, you.
This gourmet salami sandwich calls for salami and other cured meats of your choice, so let’s have a quick look at some of the yummy options on offer.
Coppa is made with pork that’s seasoned with red wine, garlic and seasonings and is then salt-cured and air dried and has a delicate texture with a fatty, spicy flavour.
Spanish chorizo is a strong, flavoured sausage made with pork and spicy paprika.
If you’re ever in New York, a visit to Katz’s Delicatessen for their Famous Pastrami on Rye is a foodie pilgrimage that’s well worth it. They’ve been doing it since 1888 and have perfected it.
Made from beef, Pastrami is cured in brine, then dried, smoked and steamed.
Prosciutto is salt cured and air dried, with a chewy texture and best enjoyed sliced paper-thin.
This is a type of prosciutto from the Parma region in Italy. Now you know.
Often confused with prosciutto, pancetta has more in common with bacon, although pancetta isn’t smoked.
Salami is made using a combination of beef and pork, fat and seasonings. It’s stuffed into a casing and hung in a controlled room where it ferments. The more time spent fermenting, the drier the salami.
I’ve used a mix of salami, Coppa and Parma ham – but it’s your sando, so use your favourites, or whatever you have on hand.
Time really does fly – and if you’re a little short on time, but still want all the flavour offered by this sublime salami sandwich, it’s perfectly fine to use store-bought aioli, which will save you from having to roast the garlic.
And, if you sub out the grilled aubergine, for char-grilled artichokes or a bottle of roasted peppers, you can be enjoying your salami sandwich in less than 15 minutes!
In a Pickle
Pickled red onions – which are surprisingly easy to make – bring a gorgeous fresh tanginess to this sandwich, and don’t take a lot of time either. You just need to let the onions sit a while to absorb the marinade. I’d recommend around 10 minutes as a minimum.
But Jess, I just don’t like…
I hear you.
Use my sandwich recipes as a starting point, experiment and substitute ingredients that you don’t like with ones that you do. Whether it’s due to taste preference, dietary reasons, lifestyle choices or faith – food should be a joy.
Always remember the golden rule of a great sandwich– contrasts! Balance richness from meats, or fried fillings with freshness using a peppery, well-dressed salad, or bright fresh pickles. Contrast crunchy fillings and meats with creamy sauces, like aioli, or a creamy yoghurt. The options are as endless as your imagination.
So, with this in mind, you can always substitute pork-based cold cuts with smoked turkey, or vegan-based lunch slices.
You can also change out the grilled aubergine with gorgeous marinated peppers or even grilled, marinated artichokes.
Rate This Salami Sandwich with Pickled Red Onions
As always, if you try this delicious salami sandwich with pickled red onions, let us know how it goes! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag your photo#theculinarycartel onInstagramso we can see what you come up with.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I make substitutions?
Absolutely. Substitute smoked turkey for any pork based cured meats, or vegan slices for meat. And substitute mayonnaise for a vegan friendly alternative. You can swap out the grilled aubergine for marinated peppers or char-grilled marinated artichokes.
And of course, you can swap out the Focaccia for Sourdough bread, country-style bread or Ciabatta. .
Can I make this vegan?
Absolutely! It can be with a few substitutions. Use vegan lunch slices instead of meat. Also use a vegan mayonnaise alternative., and Maple syrup instead of honey.