The Art of a Sandwich: Spicy Sweet Potato

Mar 21, 2018

The March issue of Bon Appetit magazine features several pages of finely crafted details from A to Z how to build a great sandwich. The architecture of a great sandwich makes it sing… the balance of flavors and textures. If seeing is a prelude to eating, the photographs of Green Goddess Tuna Salad, an open-faced Scandinavian smorrebrod, and Fried Bologna Sandwich are not only works of art, but inspirations to cook.

One secret to your sandwich repertoire is a well-stocked refrigerator and pantry. When the cartoon character Dagwood builds his masterpiece, left overs are the key: pot roast, braised pork shoulder, grilled chicken, even cooked veggies are all waiting to be part of your epic creation. Horseradish, yellow mustard, hot chili peppers, pickles and tapenade, all these jarred ingredients help your sandwich sing. Be creative with the mayonnaise. Stir in chopped garlic, fresh herbs, or your favorite hot sauce.

The Spicy Sweet Potato Sandwich is a hefty, vegetarian’s dream that will also satisfy the meat-lovers. Thick slabs of spiced and seasoned sweet potato, the briny bite of feta cheese, a pop of quick-pickled beets and red onion, smothered with hot and spicy mayonnaise and topped with bursts of fresh cilantro leaves, this sandwich is a gastronomical winner.

Although the recipe says it’s easiest to eat when made on a bulkie or kaiser roll, my Spicy Sweet Potato Sandwich was delicious when mounded on toasted honey- oatmeal bread. Food historians credit John Montagu, 4 th Earl of Sandwich, as the inventor of this food combination we call the sandwich. After devouring my Spicy Sweet Potato Sandwich, I agree that sandwiches are one of Britain’s “biggest contributions to gastronomy”.


Spicy sweet potato sandwich plated


Cheryl Wixson
All the flavors “pop” in this perfectly seasoned sandwich.


  • 1 large sweet potato baked, peeled and cut into slices, about 12 ounces
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 cup grated fresh beet
  • 1/2 red onion thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha chili sauce more or less to taste
  • Sea salt and fresh pepper
  • 4 ounce block feta cheese cut into slices
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro
  • 2 pieces bulky rolls split or 4sliced fresh bread


  • Bake the sweet potato and allow to cool before peeling. Slice the potato into “planks” to fit the roll or bread. Season the slices with ground cumin, sea salt and fresh pepper. Set aside.
    Spicy Sweet potato sandwich ingredients
  • In a small bowl, combine the grated beets, red onion, and rice vinegar. Season with sea salt and fresh pepper and set aside.
    Grating beets
  • In another small bowl, combine the mayonnaise with the Sriracha chili sauce. Taste as you mix the chili sauce.
  • Slice the feta into “plank” slices to fit the rolls or bread. Set aside.

To assemble the sandwiches:

  • Pour off the juices from the pickled beet and onion mixture. Toast the roll or bread. Spread each side with the spicy mayonnaise.
    Spicy Sweet Potato Sandwich spreading hot mayo
  • Arrange the feta slices on the bottom, add the sweet potato slices.
    feta & sweet potato layers
  • Pile the beet mixture on top, then mound the herbs over this.
    adding beets & cilantro
  • Add the top layer of bread and cut in half. Serve with plenty of napkins. Makes 2 sandwiches.

Cheryl's Notes

Nutritional analysis per sandwich (varies): 622 calories, 16 grams protein, 60 grams carbohydrates, 36 grams fat, 956 mg. sodium, 9 grams fiber.

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