Vendor Blender: Sandwich Friend

Hello Greenpoint Food Market Fiends!

Happy cool breeze Monday! We are still reveling in the afterglow of last week’s amazing market and can’t WAIT for the next one to arrive May 22nd. We’ve run out tables with swift urgency, and we hope you’ll prepare to attend with empty bellies and curious tastebuds.

Til then, this week’s Vendor Blender highlights the one and only Aja Marsh, aka Sandwich Friend!

What is Sandwich Friend?
Sandwich Friend is my sandwich shop creation where I make one-of-a-kind, gourmet sandwiches for the GFM masses (for now– talks of a shop/cafe are underway).

How did the inspiration for it come about?
I was a strict vegetarian for several years and still do not eat much meat, and I’d grown tired of the same 3 vegetarian sandwich offerings found everywhere. I mean how many times can you eat some variation of hummus and sprouts or mozzarella-tomato-pesto or grilled veggies with cheese before growing sick of them? The answer: not very many. While not all the sandwiches I make are vegetarian, I do get weary of boring sandwiches. Sandwich Friend is anything but boring.

Where do you source your ingredients?
I try to work as closely with the seasons as possible. My ingredients are primarily local and organic– including locally sourced artisan bread when possible– I shop at the Greenmarkets and natural foods stores. I also love to feature ingredients sourced by GFM vendors– I’ve used pickles, jams, chutneys, chocolate, and the like from my fellow vendors and it’s really made the sandwiching that much more fun and special.

What is your favorite and can you share a recipe?

I never liked being asked about “favorites” only because I never really do the same thing twice– there are too many food-ventures to have! But, the only thing I haven’t yet forayed into with Sandwich Friend at the GFM is pressed or grilled sandwiches. Those can be really great, but even at home I don’t have a press. But I do love the broiler. One open-faced sandwich I whipped up one day in the summer was with a leftover bagel, some spicy hummus, sliced avocado and red peppers, topped with some feta cheese and cilantro. I sprinkled it with salt and pepper, broiled it until the cheese browned and ate it with a little salad of mesclun and seckel pears. Yum.

Two of the favorite sandwiches I’ve made for the GFM are the Coq au Kasbah– a Moroccan inspired chicken salad with homemade preserved lemons, olives, kale, and other yumminess. In February I detoured a bit from my generally pretty healthy sandwiches and created The Lonely Hearts Club– two kinds of sliced turkey, lettuce, tomato, mayo, chiccarones, and maple-infused bacon grease on sourdough. Amazing.

What do your sandwiches go well with? what does it NOT go well with?
Sandwiches are great because they go with pretty much anything and stand alone on their own. I put many of levels of flavor into these sandwiches so that they can really be their own thing. That being said, chips, cookies, pickles, veggie sticks, and/or a yummy drink are always nice accompaniments.

Why the decision to share Sandwich Friend at GFM?

It’s been the best way for me to combine my desire to get to know other people in my neighborhood and food community with expressing myself creatively through food in a more personal way and get feedback on some of my zany ideas. I think the GFM has been such an important opportunity for the community to come together around a universal, delicious theme.


One response to “Vendor Blender: Sandwich Friend

  1. This is my favorite sandwich:

    Tuna salad (wait, mine is special), I add tuna, chopped fresh roma tomatoes and finely chopped spinach and mix it up with Ranch Dressing. This tuna salad is then served on well-toasted sourdough bread w/Pepperjack cheese. Try it, it is special.

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