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Seven super sandwiches for summer weekends

The ultimate bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich, with garlicky Green Goddess dressing.

In the house where I grew up, tuna salad sandwiches ruled. Nobody really liked peanut butter and jelly, and tuna from a can was easier to make than egg salad, which ran a close second in the sandwich race. We didn't go in for fancy: tuna, Miracle Whip (yes, really), sometimes a slice of tomato, and mushy bread. It doesn't sound terrific now, but when I was a kid, that was nirvana in my lunchbox, and I could eat that sandwich every day.

As I've matured, my taste buds have matured, too. Now I prefer sandwiches with lots of strong flavor, on crusty or toasted or even grilled bread, or or on flatbread, roll-ups, brioche or buns. I like to mix it up. And when the weather gets warmer and we can eat out on our porch, sandwiches make the perfect indoor-outdoor picnic for lunch or supper. Here are seven of my favorites.

A recent addition to my list of top sandwiches, the Green Goddess bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich (pictured above) just might be the very best BLT I've ever eaten. Credit goes to Picco, a restaurant in Boston; they grill the bread, slather it with creamy, garlicky dressing, and pile on the perfectly in-season tomato. It's heaven. Really, it is.

Chicken salad with walnuts, celery, and pomegranate-harissa yogurt sauce is an exciting twist on the classic.

Chicken salad with walnuts, celery and pomegranate-harissa sauce gives a bit of a sweet-and-sour twist on plain old chicken salad.

Kale pesto, tomato and fontina, a great sandwich filling.

You can make this kale pesto, tomato and fontina sandwich with any pesto you have in your freezer.

My favorite vegetarian summer sandwich, a grilled portobello mushroom with tomato, lettuce and goat cheese.

For a vegetarian option, this grilled portobello mushroom and goat cheese sandwich with a smoked pepper spread is my absolute favorite. Beware: it will dribble down your chin!

Roast beef panini with caramelized onions and horseradish sauce. It's a new classic.

After I discovered how easy it is to make caramelized onions in my slow cooker, I also discovered how easy it is to make this roast beef and caramelized onion panini.

Slow cooker coffee chipotle pulled chicken roll-ups can cook all day in the CrockPot while you're doing something else.

Rhode Island's own coffee syrup really is the magic ingredient in these slow cooker coffee-chipotle pulled chicken roll-ups.

A lighter spin on a New Orleans classic sandwich: roasted shrimp po' boy.

My spin on a New Orleans classic, a roasted shrimp po' boy sandwich filled with yogurt cole slaw, remoulade sauce and shrimp is a slightly lighter twist on the fried oyster sandwich you find in The Big Easy.

What's your favorite summer sandwich?

Seven super sandwiches for summer suppers, picnics, and weekend lunch!

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mmmm Thanks for good ideas. Already hot here and sandwich ideas needed!

When I lived for a month in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, I had a BLT with sliced, perfectly ripe avocado every day and never tired of them. With a Victoria beer, which you unfortunately can't get in the US.

Sandwich craving of my childhood: egg salad, every day in the school lunch box, around 4th grade. Unless it was lunch at home, the Campbell's Classic, tomato soup with grilled cheese (Velveeta, white bread) (my mother kept the good bread for herself).

Now, Fried Tofu Sandwich with Cornmeal Breading (for the tofu, and anything else) - served in our natural food store deli, often dinner so we didn't starve. I still make it, still love it.

But, almost every lunch now is a sandwich with whatever spread or burger is in the fridge + tomato slice or avocado or veg relish + sauce/spread, like pesto or peanut sauce or Comeback Sauce (see NYT)... + good bread: almost invariably delicious.

And if it drips down your arms, just proof that it's succulent, of course. (Use dish towels for napkins).

Marcia, I'd love a sandwich with some Hatch chiles, and I'll bet you do that!

Jean, I can't think of how to improve on that lunch.

Susan, we all have our childhood sandwich memories. But I love the sound of your fried tofu sandwich, and I agree, lunch with whatever bread, whatever filling, whatever spread I have on hand -- really, that's the best.

How could anything beat a day old cold meatloaf with mayo (Miracle Whip in my case) perhaps some of those caramelized onions and super cold ice tea?)

Pat, another Miracle Whip fan! I've finally given it up, but it wasn't easy.

The pomegranate-harissa dressing made a tasty sandwich spread. I used plain low-fat yogurt and added 1/4 cup pecan meal -- I liked the nuts in the salad. I always feel happy to adapt great ideas to my needs!

Last month I was in Chicago, and had an amazing sandwich at the Birchwood Kitchen (http://www.birchwoodkitchen.com/). It was pickled beets, goat cheese, arugula, and walnut pesto on a warm baguette.

I've been trying to replicate it but I have no idea what was in the pesto. It was amazing.

Once or maybe twice a summer, I totally CRAVE a chili cheese dog. Last year, I got into spiral cutting the wiener before broiling it: So crispy and lots of crannies to hold the beans and onions and optional chunks of avocado. So happy.
(Lots of toppings, so I always use hoagie rolls, rather than traditional skinny dog buns. And prefer pork, so weiners not franks.)

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