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Sandwich of the Month: The Juniper Grinder

Sandwich of the Month: The Juniper Grinder

Photo: Stephanie A. Meyer

This is the first sandwich that comes to mind for Scott Pampuch when you say the word “sandwich.” Pampuch, district executive chef, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities campus, Aramark, is known for creating locavore food with intense flavors and unexpected ingredients.

Prior to coming to the university, he founded the award-winning Minneapolis restaurant Corner Table. Pampuch created this charcuterie-based sandwich at another restaurant, the Modern Café, and the memory has haunted him ever since. He plans to feature the sandwich at the pop-up concept Lunchbox, an outdoor summer spot on the U of M campus.

“It’s all about the palate,” he says. “The ingredients have to relate to all the zones on your tongue, and that’s when the perfect bite happens.” The perfect bite in the Juniper Grinder begins with a crusty baguette (or ciabbata could work too), cutting through to the salty fattiness of mortadella and coppa. The arugula provides a peppery note while the acid of the summer-ripe (salted) tomatoes tastes almost sweet when contrasted with the secret weapon of this sandwich: juniper aioli.
“It’s a teaspoon of ground juniper berries to about 1 cup of aioli. It’s a strong, big flavor,” Pampuch says.

Yield: 1 sandwich

1 French baguette-style roll, Kaiser roll or ciabatta bun
2 oz. coppa
2 oz. mortadella
2 oz. smoked turkey
2 oz. salami
4 oz. juniper aioli (1 cup mayo, 2 tsps. ground juniper berries)
2 slices fresh, ripe tomato, salted
3 oz. fresh baby arugula
1 Tbsp. giardiniera mix (pickled vegetables in vinegar)

Assemble ingredients on bun as listed; serve immediately.

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