I was going to write a column about taco salads once, and how they’re a smart alternative to showering your laptop with cheddar crumbs and shredded iceburg. Alas, I got discouraged by my inability to find a viable life comparison and gave up. And I’m pretty sure there’s still salsa in my space bar from my last taco truck run. #foodwriterproblems

Enter the pinwheel. You may remember them from corporate sandwich platters, mommy blogs, or if your mom (pre-blog) really loved you, your elementary school lunchbox. And if you’re on the run, don’t like soggy, leaky wrap sandwiches (oh hey, turkey-mustard juice on my pants) and are typing too fast to wipe said juice off your fingers, a pinwheel might just be that keyboard-preserving walk in the park you’ve been looking for.

Best of all, you don’t have to use a wrap, meaning your awesome sandwich fillings don’t have to be caged in a gummy, flavorless waste of carbs. Break out a rolling pin and that rosemary olive bread or 75% butter brioche. Slice the loaf lengthwise into long slices, flatten with the rolling pin, add filling, roll up, secure with plastic wrap, refrigerate and slice. Keeping things on the drier side will prevent the bread from getting soggy. Here are some ideas, purposely excluding “hummus and veggie strips” because nobody actually wants that for lunch.

  • Smoked salmon, goat cheese and spinach
  • Leftover roast chicken, beer mustard and chives
  • Tapenade, tuna and parsley
  • Pâté, julienned green apple and ham
  • Sliced hard-boiled egg, watercress and Japanese kewpie mayo
  • Boursin, fig jam and turkey 
  • Harissa, chopped green olives, fresh mint and leftover flank steak
  • Bologna, American cheese and French’s yellow mustard (oops, how’d that get in there?)

Why go through the trouble of flattening bread and securing a roll shape with plastic wrap when you could just make a sandwich? Because you’ve always wanted to use your rolling pin as something other than a weapon, and refuse to bake. Okay, maybe that’s my reason.