I love a good sandwich and I love a good viral recipe.
This viral TikTok grinder is both.
Grinder is a term synonymous with sub or hoagie; It is predominantly used in New England. According to The Country Cook, the food blog that this particular recipe comes from, this sandwich started out as a sandwich-inspired salad that has since been turned back into a sandwich.
Take a few seconds to let that sink in.
This sandwich kept popping up on my Pinterest. Like a good millennial, I’m not on TikTok because I know the best trends show up on Instagram two weeks later.
I wanted to try this giant sandwich because my favorite Jimmy John sandwich is the Vito. It features smoked Italian meats like salami and capocollo, so I was very on board with the salami and pepperoni found on this mill.
The country chef added sopprasetta salami to his mill. I couldn’t find this quickly and honestly didn’t want to spend the time trying to find it around town, so I substituted some sliced turkey for that as well. It’s a high quality lean protein and adds a slightly different flavor to the mix.
This sandwich is a great weeknight meal. The fact that it makes one large sandwich to slice up rather than multiple individual sandwiches means it’s pretty quick.
It only has to be a bit of snipping and cutting, the deli cutter does most of the work before the meat and cheese are bought. Those who grow their own tomatoes can showcase the fruit from their gardens.
Add a bowl of vegetable soup or some raw vegetables, and this sandwich is a complete meal—ready in under an hour and it’s mostly meat and cheese. It’s messy and delicious.
I love thinking about food trends. With the internet, they appear and fade away so quickly.
I like the idea of old-school viral recipes — a woman grabs a new cookbook, magazine, or even a food product and decides to try a new recipe. Maybe she’ll bring it to the church picnic or to a neighborhood potluck where other moms will want to try it and know how it’s made.
It’s a scene I saw with my own mother when I was a kid. That brings a bit more regionality to American food.
When food is shared, it spreads. We optimize recipes and make them our own.
In online communities, this sharing and dissemination happens much faster. Geographical boundaries don’t mean that much.
What better way to share food than with a giant sandwich?
TikTok Grinder Salad Sandwich
For the mill salad:
- 1 cup mayonnaise.
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar.
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped.
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano.
- ½ teaspoon red chili flakes.
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt.
- ¼ cup sliced peperoncini peppers.
- ¼ red onion, thinly sliced.
- 1 head of iceberg lettuce, shredded.
For the sandwich:
- 16 ounces of Italian bread.
- ½ pound thinly sliced provolone cheese.
- ½ pound thinly sliced ham.
- ¼ pound thinly sliced turkey.
- ¼ pound thinly sliced Genoa salami.
- 6 thinly sliced deli-sized peppers.
Assembling the sandwich:
- 2 ounces freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
- 1 large beefsteak tomato, sliced.
- Whisk together the mayonnaise, vinegar, garlic, pepper, oregano, chili flakes, and salt until well combined.
- Add the sliced pepperoncini and sliced red onion and stir the dressing until coated.
- Add the lettuce and toss in the dressing using tongs or a fork to coat, then set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Halve the bread and place cut-side up on a baking sheet. Remove most of the inside of the bread, leaving about half an inch of the bread.
- Add half of the provolone cheese on each side. Place in the oven until melted, about four or five minutes.
- Place the ham slices on one half of the sub and the turkey on the other half.
- Top the ham with the salami slices. Then garnish the soppressata with the pepperoni.
- Place back in the oven to reheat the meat and toast the bread, about five minutes.
- Remove from the oven and sprinkle the tops of the meat with a quarter of the Parmesan cheese.
- Add the tomato slices, then drizzle the tomatoes with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Next, add some of the grinder salad you prepared earlier. Sprinkle with the remaining parmesan.
- Add the top half of the sandwich over the bottom half and gently press down.
- Cut into slices and serve.
Recipe adapted from The Country Cook at https://www.thecountrycook.net/tik-tok-grinder-salad-sandwich/.