Try These Julia Child-Inspired Tips For A Better Sandwich

As much as we love Julia Child for her role in bringing labor-intensive recipes into the kitchens of budding home cooks, we're just as admiring of her penchant for life's simplest culinary pleasures. For example, she might have served a complicated "deconstructed" turkey for Thanksgiving, as noted by The Washington Post, but she also famously put out Goldfish crackers for her guests to nibble on during cocktail hour. If the Francophile food celeb were around today, she might reach for the term "high-low" to describe her entertaining ethos. 

The table of contents in "The French Chef Cookbook," which stemmed from the television series of the same name, is a microcosm of Child's versatility as a chef. Semi-elaborate recipes such as boeuf bourguignon, saddle of lamb ("Always remember: If you're alone in the kitchen and you drop the lamb, you can always just pick it up. Who's going to know?" she famously said on her WGBH television show), and croquembouche all share equal footing with "Ham Dinner for Four in Half an Hour" and simple roasted vegetables. 

Unsurprisingly, Child's approach to sandwiches combined her love of rich flavors with her realistic understanding of a hungry person's lunch-prep timeline. A classic example of this is her famous tuna salad sandwich, which features a refreshingly simple combination of oil-packed tuna, Hellmann's mayo, Vidalia onion, white pepper, and Bays English muffins or white bread, says cookbook author Dorie Greenspan. A collection of Julia Child-inspired sandwich spreads cataloged by PBS are equally simple.

Almost anything can be a condiment

It's no secret that Julia Child was an ardent fan of unadulterated French butter, but even she liked to mix things up. On the limited series "Cooking with Master Chefs," in which Child garnered tips and recipes from chefs around the world, she apparently learned that a sandwich condiment can be anything you'd like to spread on a piece of bread. A PBS feature pulls some morsels of Child's inspiration from the show, which you can use for your sandwich-innovating needs. 

If you're still in the honeymoon phase of your bean era, you might consider spreading the magical fruit on your sandwich. You could do so with hummus, which, as you probably know, is made from chickpeas. We'd suggest frying some extra chickpeas in butter and oil until they're crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside. Hit them with salt and add them to your hummus for a hearty, protein-packed sammie base. 

Baba ghanouj also makes a great spread that packs in a dose of vegetables without any knife work. The Middle Eastern eggplant dish shares some of the same ingredients as hummus, such as tahini, lemon juice, and garlic.

Bored of mayonnaise? Try whipping up an aioli from garlic, egg yolks, lemon juice, and olive oil. Likewise, instead of plain butter, you could mix fresh herbs, spices, garlic, and citrus zest into softened butter for what PBS calls "a rich world of delicious opportunities."

Turn to your cheese plate

If you're faced with the leftovers of last night's cheese party, PBS says to make like Julia Child and find the softest of the bunch to spread on your sandwich. A brie, chevre (a type of goat cheese), or Camembert would all make great bedfellows with sliced meat, fresh greens, and something sweet, like chutney. The outlet also suggests taleggio for the stinky cheese lovers in the audience, and "mild, buttery" Californian teleme for those who prefer a more modest vibe. Whichever you choose, let it come to room temperature for optimal spreading ease. 

If you're really down to clown, you might also consider busting out the remnants of your charcuterie board. According to PBS, a pâté of chicken liver or foie gras makes for a supremely flavorful bread-based experience. Channeling the celebrated food world icon, they suggest you "spread it on crusty French baguette slices or crisp crackers, keep the red wine flowing, and, finally, remember to leave room for dinner!" We're certain Child would approve.