The toasted sandwich is back – but what makes one cool?



Patronage from celeb chefs such as Jamie Oliver has transformed the humble toasted sarni into an unlikely emblem of hip - here are a few of our fave recipes...

The toasted sandwich swings again.
For a long time it was firmly on the wrong side of retro, alongside repeats of Bullseye and mullet haircuts, but over the past few years patronage from celeb chefs such as Jamie Oliver has transformed the humble hot butty and sandwich toaster into unlikely emblems of hip.

Toasted Sarni

But this isn't same toasted sandwich found in the woodchip kitchens of the Eighties, all cheap processed cheese and sweaty, waterlogged ham.  

Like the reformed Take That or the new Mini, the toasted sandwich has moved with the times and into the bistros and shabby chic cafes or our cities, and the on-trend weekend supplements of our newspapers.
We're still making them in our trusty Brevilles and they still bear the same tantalisingly crispy sealed edges and golden colour, but stuffy, old-fashioned fillings have been cast aside for a more modern approach - chorizo, mozzarella, smoked salmon and avocado.

I can feel my mother's disdain merely typing them.

But unless you're a hip celebrity chef with a penchant for old-school Adidas trainers and VW camper vans, how the heck are you supposed to know which combinations you should be slapping between your bread?
We've gathered a few of our favourite toastie recipes that'll see you cutting it with the poppy-seed bread, cured meat and melted halloumi elite - you can thank us later. But before you get cracking you'll need to buy a sandwich toaster, or dig out an old one you long-ago banished to the darkest corners of your kitchen cupboard.

Cherry tomato, pesto and mozzarella

This really is a winner - and as easy to knock together as saying pukka. For two sarnis all you need is four slices of white bread, a ball of mozzarella, two tablespoonfuls of pesto and a few vine-ripened cherry tomatoes.

Mozarella And Toms

Lay your bread on a board and spread the pesto across one side, then thinly slice the mozzarella and lay that on top. Slice the tomatoes in half and scatter a few pieces over the top, then drizzle some extra virgin olive oil and salt and cracked black pepper over the top. Pop your other slice of bread on top, spread a thin layer of olive oil on the outside of each slice of bread and pop in the pre-heated sandwich toaster. Lovely jubbly.

Roasted vegetable and halloumi

Granted, this one may take a bit more effort, but the end product will knock your socks off. All you need for a pair of these bad boys is one red pepper, one yellow pepper, a courgette, a block of halloumi and four slices of white bread.

Sliced Peppers

First of all chop the peppers into thin strips, and slice the courgette. Put them in a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and place in a pre-heated oven (200 degrees) for 30 minutes. When they come out leave them to cool and slice your halloumi before piling it all on to your sliced bread. Spread some olive oil over the outside edges of the bread and pop in your pre-heated sandwich toaster.

Parma ham and egg

If you're wanting to impress your other half with a posh brunch, this is the way to go. All you'll need is four slices of white bread, two slices of Parma ham and two eggs. Place your slices of bread on a chopping board, and lay a slice of Parma ham on each. Arrange the ham so there's a dip or well in the centre, the transfer them to the pre-heated sandwich toaster. The carefully crack one egg into the well at the centre of each slice of bread. Add some salt and cracked black pepper, then place the other slice of bread over the top and close the toaster.

Hopefully these ideas will launch you on a journey to rediscover how awesome your sandwich toaster can be - let us know your favourite recipes below…