You may know this sandwich as a grinder, you may know it as a hoagie, or perhaps a sub. Or, if you are a comics fan, you may well know what a Dagwood sandwich is. In the classic old comic strip Blondie, Dagwood Bumstead, husband of the eponymous cartoon strip character Blondie, was prone to creating sandwiches with layers upon layers of meats, cheese, condiments, and so on, reaching gravity-defying heights. These sky-high sandwiches were usually comprised of whatever Dagwood could forage in his fridge. And that’s how these overstuffed sandwiches got their “Dagwood” nickname.
The classic deli sub tends to be Italian in nature, with a combo of Italian meats and cheeses, plus some other deli staples. Favorite sub meats in our house include soppressata, ham, prosciutto, mortadella, and various types of salami. Turkey is another option, as is roast beef.
As for cheese, there are lots of choices. My favorite is provolone, with its smooth texture and light sharpness. American cheese, cheddar, Swiss, fontina, and Havarti are also good choices.
What I think makes a deli sub a deli sub is the vinaigrette or “juice” that gets sprinkled on the meats, cheese, and vegetables. All of the best delis, especially Italian delis, have their version of this oil and vinegar dressing, and that, combined with mustard, mayo, roasted red peppers, and jarred pepperoncini, turns this from a sandwich into a masterpiece. Even if you’ve just been to a Jersey Mike’s, you’ve probably been offered the option of dressing or juice on your sub.
Sometimes, I swap in a spicy mayo of sorts or another sauce or spread for the plain mayo. Try remoulade sauce, Chipotle Mayo, Sriracha mayo as variations.
You gotta go for the roll. You might see them actually labeled sub rolls, but also look for Portuguese rolls, hoagie rolls, grinder rolls, hero rolls, or Italian rolls. In New York, sometimes they call these kinds of subs “wedges,” and so you might also see rolls labeled wedge rolls. This is a full sandwich, and it needs a large, sturdy roll to hold it all together. This isn’t the time for sliced bread!
How to Make a Grinder
Make the dressing: In a small container, combine the olive oil, vinegar, garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Place the shredded lettuce in a small bowl, drizzle over half of the dressing, and toss to combine. Reserve the rest of the dressing.
Spread the mustard, mayo, and whatever else you are using on the cut sides of the bread. Start stacking the sandwich! You can layer up the meats, cheese, vegetables, and veggies any way you like. Save the rest of the dressing to drizzle over the top of your sandwich filling before you put the top half of the roll on. Open very wide, and eat!
Grinder Sandwich: Piled high with meat, cheese, veggies and condiments, this classic sub recipe satisfies that deli craving at home!Tweet This
Other Sandwich Recipes
- Air Fryer Grilled Cheese Sandwich
- Meatball Subs
- Sausage and Pepper Sub Sandwiches
- Fried Fish Sandwich
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For the Sub Sandwich “Juice” (Dressing):
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- ½ teaspoon finely minced garlic
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper (to taste)
For the Sandwich:
- 2 deli rolls (halved)
- Mayonnaise (see Note)
- Spicy brown mustard
- 1 cup shredded romaine lettuce
- Thinly sliced ham
- Sliced salami
- Thinly sliced prosciutto
- Sliced provolone
- Sliced mortadella
- Roasted red peppers (store-bought or homemade)
- Sliced tomatoes
- Thinly sliced onion
- Make the dressing: In a small container, combine the olive oil, vinegar, garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Place the shredded lettuce in a small bowl, drizzle over half of the dressing, and toss to combine. Reserve the rest of the dressing.
- Start stacking the sandwich! Spread the mustard and mayo on the cut sides of the roll. You can layer up the meats, cheese, vegetables, and condiments any way you like. Save the rest of the dressing to drizzle over the top of your sandwich filling before you put the top half of the roll on. Open very wide, and eat!
The nutrition values are provided as an estimate. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional.
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