Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Carrot and Peanut Butter Sandwiches: or, Well-mannered blandness cut into triangles

This may be why no one asks me to do a sandwich tray.

Source: Mid-Century Menu

Carrot/Peanut Butter Sandwiches
1 c grated raw carrots
1/4 c finely chopped salted peanuts
2 tbsp mayonnaise
8 slices whole-wheat bread

Mix carrots, peanuts, and mayonnaise. Spread on four bread slices. Put lettuce on each, and then put the other bread slices on top.

Source: Mid-Century Menu

An interest was expressed in getting the makings of sandwiches. And so, on the next grocery expedition, everyone else was excitedly selecting an extravagance of cold cuts and cheeses. Meanwhile, I was unjustifiably excited to put carrots into a cheese shredder.

Anyone looking at the recipe name may have frightening visions of stirring mayonnaise and carrots into a jar of Jif. However, this recipe has us using salted peanuts which we are meant to grind for ourselves. Therefore, there won't be any nauseating clash of mayonnaise and sweetened peanut butter. 

I thought to myself that there's nothing particularly offensive about uniting carrots and salted peanuts. Furthermore, while mayonnaise is deployed in these sandwiches, the recipe does not use a huge glob of the stuff. We're not about to create a suspension of carrot shreds in a gelatinous mayonnaise ooze. I was therefore cautiously optimistic about this recipe. 

Also, given that we're only using carrots, peanuts, and a small blob of mayo, this is extremely cheap.

This looks less like I should be assembling them into a sandwich and more like these should be rolled up into pinwheels and served on toothpicks. To the recipe's credit, you are allotted a generous amount of carrots per sandwich.

Flavor-wise, these were as polite as a ladies' luncheon. The carrot-mayo-peanut filling didn't really taste like anything. You know a sandwich is bland when the lettuce overpowers everything else. They're not bad, they're not good, they're merely inoffensive.

I tried to improve with a generous spoonful of radish relish, reasoning that the radish relish couldn't possibly clash with flavors that weren't even there.

The color-striping certainly adds visual interest, but the relish didn't save our carrots. The sandwich went from flavorless to merely bland. Though I have to admit, pulverized radishes are such a rare ingredient in sandwiches that at least a few people might at least be politely curious about what's in these.

Carrot-peanut butter sandwiches are a perfectly acceptable way to stave off hunger-induced crankiness during the reading of the club minutes, but I can't say these are particularly good. I'm actually disappointed. If these sandwiches were going to be underwhelming, they could at least have the decency to be amusingly revolting. 

We at a Book of Cookrye don't exactly dis-recommend these. But if you want to make vintage sandwiches for your next gathering, you'll get a lot more pizzazz out of a good old-fashioned peanut butter and pickle.


  1. Crushed peanuts stirred into mayo, huh? That's one of those things that definitively marks a recipe "mid-century" in my eyes--not that exact combination, but in calling a recipe by one name, when in reality, you're making something only sort of related to that original food item. (See also: The many mid-century takes on "pizza.")

    1. Yeah-- it's not like mayo was invented in 1949 or like crushed peanuts were the sriracha of the fifties, but this is definitely mid-century somehow. And there certainly was a glorious period when "pizza" became almost as broad a category as "salad," wasn't there?