This sloppy joe is native to New Jersey, where the term—elsewhere reserved for tomato saucy ground meat on a bun—means something different entirely. Here, it is a cold, triple-decker, rye bread sandwich, stacked high with meat, cheese, cabbage slaw, and so much Russian dressing. I like turkey and Swiss, but feel free to sub in your favorites, from roast beef with cheddar to ham with provolone. —Emma Laperruque
Toss the cabbage with a pinch of salt in a small bowl. Let hang out while you make the Russian dressing: Combine the mayo, minced pickles, and ketchup in another small bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add just enough Russian dressing to the cabbage to wilt, like a coleslaw.
Build the sandwiches. Butter the bread slices so that all sides facing the interior of the sandwich are taken care of (so, the top and bottom slices of bread will be buttered on one side; the middle will be buttered on both). Stack in this order: bread, turkey, Swiss, Russian slaw, more Russian for good measure, bread, turkey, Swiss, Russian slaw, more Russian for good measure, bread. Slice in half and serve with a pickle.
Emma is a writer and recipe developer at Food52. Before this, she worked a lot of odd jobs, all at the same time. Think: stir-frying noodles "on the fly," baking dozens of pastries at 3 a.m., reviewing restaurants, and writing articles about everything from how to use leftover mashed potatoes to the history of pies in North Carolina. Now she lives in Maplewood, New Jersey with her husband and their cat, Butter. Stay tuned every Tuesday for Emma's cooking column, Big Little Recipes, all about big flavor and little ingredient lists. And see what she's up to on Instagram and Twitter at @emmalaperruque.