Urban legend has it that the smooshed sandwich came about when a mother put her toddler on the kitchen counter while making a sandwich. The mother turned away for a second and when she looked back her baby had sat on (and thus squashed) the bread.
I love that imagery but it’s more likely this sandwich came about when someone made a no-cook panini by putting a sandwich at the bottom of a picnic basket and letting it get smooshed by the other contents. Whatever the origin, it’s a fun sandwich that kids adore making. There’s something about manipulating and squashing food that gets kids jazzed and this sandwich takes full advantage of that. The fillings are a riff on the BLT, known as the PALT (prosciutto, lettuce, avocado, and tomato) around my house, but feel free to use whatever sandwich fixings your kids like. No matter how you fill it, just make sure you leave yourself adequate smoosh time because it a flattened sandwich is all that more fun to eat.
Prosciutto, Avocado, Arugula, and Tomato Sandwich Recipe
There are a ton of different directions you could take this sandwich — the only key is to make sure you’re ingredients aren’t overly wet or they’ll make the bread go mushy too quickly. For more flavor combinations, check out variations below.
Makes: 1 to 2 servings
1 (about 4 oz) crusty whole wheat roll
1 handful baby spinach
1 ripe tomato, thinly sliced and seeded
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 ripe avocado
2 thin slices (about 1 oz) prosciutto
Split roll in half and remove some of the inner bread. Combine spinach, tomato, oil, and vinegar in a bowl, season with salt, toss to coat, and set aside.
Thinly slice avocado then layer on the sandwich, season with salt, and top with prosciutto. Top with salad mixture, drizzle with any juices, then top with other half of the roll and press to close.
Tightly wrap in parchment paper then aluminum foil. Place on a flat surface, cover with a baking sheet, and place heavy cans or a cast iron skillet on top of the baking sheet to press the sandwich down. Flip sandwich over after 10 minutes and press for another 10 minutes. (The sandwich can be pressed up to 2 hours ahead.) When ready to eat, unwrap, slice, and serve.
Variations: You could pretty make any sandwich you’d like but here are a few we make around my parts:
-Smoked Turkey + Provolone + Pesto
- Marinated Artichokes + Manchego + Prosciutto + Tapenade (aka Olive Spread)
-Oil-Packed Tuna + Roasted Red Peppers + Parsley + Dijon Mustard
-Cucumbers + Radishes + Spinach + Edamame Hummus
-Raw Beets + Avocado + Mozzarella + Watercress
-Apple + Black Forest Ham + Gouda + Honey-Mustard
This recipe is part of my week of healthy back to school recipes that I’ll be posting through Friday September 9th.