Generally, I have an unofficial rule that I don’t pay more than $5 for a sandwich (I basically only ever buy Les Givral’s dirt-cheap, heavenly-fresh banhi mi). Only Local Foods can make me stray—regularly—from this rule for their stuffed-to-the-brim market veggie sandwich.

I always order mine on their fluffy, perfectly bronzed pretzel roll because I believe one should always say yes to pretzel rolls. Only once did I forget to discover that their default ciabatta roll is perfectly respectable. But the pretzel roll really makes for an outstandingly crisp-edged, yeasty-interiored swathe of bread around a rich interior of creamy avocado, hummus, pickled onion (perfect for cutting through the richness), juicy tomato, a matted tangle of sprouts, and jumble of insanely tasty caramelized vegetables—brussels sprouts and cauliflower, of all things.

I must have eaten this sandwich 8 times before I finally tried making it at home. While the sandwich requires multiple components to layer on the flavor, each step is relatively simple. It’s just a matter of roasting vegetables until crispy and golden, quick-pickling some onions (something we’ve done before), and loading up on some fresh vegetables and spreads. You can use defrosted frozen vegetables to cut down on the prep time, but it can lead to severely soft and mushy vegetables post-roasting—I recommend using fresh for the most amazing gourmet vegetarian sandwich you’ll ever make at home!

Market Veggie Sandwich

Yield: 4 sandwiches


For the quick-pickled onion:

¼ cup rice vinegar
½ cup water
1.5 tablespoons sugar
¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
½ large onion, thinly sliced

For the roasted vegetables:

12 ounces brussels sprouts (preferably fresh, but can be frozen)
12 ounces cauliflower florets (preferably fresh, but can be frozen)
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper

For the avocado spread:

1 medium avocado
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
salt and pepper

4 pretzel, brioche or ciabatta rolls (I highly recommend Slow Dough’s amazing pretzel rolls, which can be found at Whole Foods, among other places)
2 roma tomatoes, sliced
handful of sprouts
½ cup prepared hummus


For the pickled onion: In a small saucepan, bring the vinegar water, sugar and salt to a boil. Once boiling, remove from heat. Add sliced onion to vinegar mixture. Let sit at room temperature for one hour, then refrigerate until use.

For the roasted vegetables: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice the brussels sprouts in half and the cauliflower into bite-sized pieces. Toss brussels sprouts and cauliflower in oil, salt and pepper. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until browned and crispy. Set aside to cool.

For the avocado spread: Mash avocado with cumin, garlic powder, salt and pepper; adjust seasoning to taste.

To assemble: Toast the pretzel rolls. Spread one half of a roll generously with hummus; spread the other half with avocado spread. Add a layer of roasted brussels sprouts, cauliflower, slices of tomato, sprouts, and a small handful of pickled onion to finish.

Erika Kwee


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