The Farmer's (Brown Bag) Lunch

September 27, 2010
1 Rating
Author Notes

This wonderful sandwich comes from a little grocers right down the street from where I live called City Feed. For a long time I didn't try it because it didn't sound terribly interesting, but boy was I wrong! I finally got it one day and became immediately obsessed. Of course, you can't spend $8 for a sandwich everyday, so this is my remake of it for home lunch packing purposes. It is a simple sandwich packed with wonderful flavor that comes from choosing really high quality ingredients. - fiveandspice —fiveandspice

Test Kitchen Notes

This is a great sandwich for non-lunch-meat eaters. The intense brininess of the green tomatoes, the crisp sweetness of the apples, and the soft tanginess of the cheese come together perfectly. As the recipe notes specify, this is a case when the whole is as good as the sum of its parts--good quality ingredients are essential. I made the pickled green tomatoes the day before I made the sandwich, which certainly didn't give me the weeks of flavor development called for in the recipe, but they still tasted pickle-y and delicious. Altogether, I agree with my husband that these sandwiches tasted like "more!" – Uenasway —The Editors

  • Serves 1
  • Farmer's Lunch Sandwich
  • 1/4 really good baguette
  • good mayo
  • whole grain mustard
  • 3 ounces (or even a bit more) really good sharp cheddar, sliced
  • 1/4 tart apple (like a Granny Smith or Cortland), cut into thin slices
  • 1-2 leaves of red leaf or butter lettuce
  • a few pieces of pickled green tomato, sliced thinly (use store bought, or for homemade see recipe below)
  • Pickled green tomatoes
  • 1 quart jar with lid
  • 1 pound green (underripe) tomatoes
  • 2 cups cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • a large pinch whole cloves
  • a large pinch celery seeds
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon pickling salt or Kosher salt
In This Recipe
  1. Farmer's Lunch Sandwich
  2. Cut baguette in half horizontally to open. Smear each side with a layer of mayo and mustard. On the bottom side of the bread, layer on the slices of cheese, the apple slices, the pieces of green tomato, and the lettuce. Cover up the sandwich with the top. Wrap tightly in sandwich paper until you're ready to eat. It's best eaten within a few hours, but you could make it the night before and keep it in the fridge until morning.
  1. Pickled green tomatoes
  2. Sterilize your empty jar and lid in boiling water (or a dishwasher) and set aside on a clean towel to dry.
  3. Wash the tomatoes and cut into quarters. Pack the tomatoes into the clean jar until nearly full.
  4. Combine the vinegar, water, honey, salt, and all the spices in a saucepan, bring to a boil, and allow to boil for a few minutes (3-5). Pour this over the tomatoes in the jar until the tomatoes are covered and the liquid reaches up to about 1/2 inch from the top of the jar. Slide a wooden skewer or spoon around the inside wall of the jar to make sure there are no air bubbles.
  5. Screw the lid onto the jar. Allow to cool, then refrigerate. The flavor should be developed enough to enjoy within a couple of weeks, and the pickles will keep in the refrigerator for several months.
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I like to say I'm a lazy iron chef (I just cook with what I have around), renegade nutritionist, food policy wonk, and inveterate butter and cream enthusiast! My husband and I own a craft distillery in Northern Minnesota called Vikre Distillery (, where I claimed the title, "arbiter of taste." I also have a doctorate in food policy, for which I studied the changes in diet and health of new immigrants after they come to the United States. I myself am a Norwegian-American dual citizen. So I have a lot of Scandinavian pride, which especially shines through in my cooking on special holidays. Beyond loving all facets of food, I'm a Renaissance woman (translation: bad at focusing), dabbling in a variety of artistic and scientific endeavors.