What I make when I don’t have time to make lunch. According to Google, a pickle sandwich means a sandwich on a pickle—like, a pickle instead of bread. This is not that. Instead, it’s much closer to the British pickle and cheese sandwich, which does include bread, as well as cheddar and a pickle-slash-chutney condiment, most likely Branston brand. This is not quite that either. But it shares the same belief system, that a good pickle and a good cheese are all you need for a stellar sandwich. (No offense to deli turkey.) In this case, I turn to half-sour pickles, my favorite, though you can certainly swap in bread-and-butter chips if you’d rather a sweeter bite. Whatever pickle you end up with, the trick is to use it not once, not twice, but three different ways. First: minced into a relishy situation, to stir with grainy mustard and mayonnaise. Second: a splash of brine to thin out and brighten up that sauce. Third: sliced into cold-cut-like slabs, to proudly pile on the sandwich. The whole thing comes together in about the time it takes for bread to toast. Which is to say, almost no time at all. —Emma Laperruque
minced half-sour pickle
grainy Dijon mustard
slices seedy bread, lightly toasted
half-sour pickle, thinly sliced lengthwise
layers sliced sharp white cheddar
In This Recipe
Combine the minced pickle, mayo, mustard, and brine in a bowl. Try it, then adjust the ratio to taste. Spread half of the sauce on each slice of bread. Add the pickles to one slice, top with the cheese, then close the sandwich. Slice in half on the diagonal.
Emma is the food editor 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., and writing about the history of pie in North Carolina. Now she lives in New Jersey with her husband and their cat, Butter. Stay tuned every Tuesday for Emma's award-winning column, Big Little Recipes (also the cookbook in October 2021!). And see what she's up to on Instagram at @emmalaperruque.