Top 10 Sandwich condiments

Jen Klein

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An excellent sandwich is about the main ingredients, right? Well, yes. And no. As excellent as your roast beef may be, as fresh as your tomatoes or creamy as your cheese, there's one additional element that can make or break a sandwich: the condiment. The right condiment can make a good sandwich great -- and take a sandwich beyond lunch to become a hit at any meal.

Variety of condiments

Adding just the right condiment to the bread can send a sandwich into the stratosphere of gastronomic delight -- or doom it to a quick meal one just gets through. It can add the right counterpoint of flavor, whether that flavor is salty, sweet, tangy or some combination thereof. So when you are considering your sandwich for today's lunch, really consider the condiment.

Sandwich condiment 1: Ketchup

Long since a favorite condiment on all kinds of foods, ketchup isn't often your first thought when it comes to a sandwich, but why not? If you love it, use it! And with the rise of specialty ketchups -- or even homemade ones -- you're in for a real flavor treat.

>>Homemade Ketchup and Other Condiment Recipes


Sandwich condiment 2: Mustard

Mustard, in all its varieties adds a sharp counterpoint to many sandwiches. And with so many varieties from stone-ground to honey mustard to flavored mustards, you're sure to find a mustard that's your sandwich favorite. Try cranberry mustard on your post-Thanksgiving sandwich, for example.

>>Creative Sandwich Recipes for Lunch


Sandwich condiment 3: Mayonnaise/aioli

Although mayonnaise can be heavy if used to excess, it provides a creamy balance for some sandwiches. Aioli, mayonnaise's cousin, brings a similar texture, but with slightly less heaviness.

>>Simple Sandwich Recipes


Sandwich condiment 4: Pickle relish

If you love briny pickled foods, pickle relish is likely your friend on the sandwich. Although typically used with hot dogs and sausages, what's to say you can't add your favorite pickle based condiment to any sandwich?

>>Tomato Caper Relish


Sandwich condiment 5: Hummus

Hummus is a terrific condiment for both vegetarian and  non-vegetarian sandwiches. A smooth, garlicky hummus with some lemon tang and cumin spice can be terrific on a burger, for example. Or keep it traditional and use it in a pita pocket with fresh tomato and cucumbers.

>>Traditional Hummus and Chickpea Dip Variations


Sandwich condiment 6: Guacamole

The creamy deliciousness of guacamole isn't just for the burrito-loving crowd. Guacamole is excellent on a BLT, for example, or paired with sliced turkey.

>>Creative Guacamole Recipes


Sandwich condiment 7: Pesto

Pestos are not just for pastas, they are for sandwiches, too. Try a basil pesto or sun-dried tomato pesto on a caprese sandwich for garden fresh flavor and balance.

>>Pesto 101: How to Make Perfect Pesto


Sandwich condiment 8: Balsamic vinaigrette

Using balsamic vinaigrette on a sandwich adds moisture and depth of flavor you might not expect from a mere sandwich. Use it sparingly though because too much moisture can turn a delicious sandwich into a soggy mess!

>>Balsamic Vinaigrette


Sandwich condiment 9: Ranch dressing

Ranch dressing -- but just about any salad dressing, really -- can add a tangy punch to a sandwich. Try it on a chicken cutlet wrap or in a vegetarian pocket.

>>Low-Fat Ranch Dressing


Sandwich condiment 10: Tapenade

Tapenade, the paste made of chopped olives, capers and anchovies can really kick up the flavor a notch -- or two. Since this provencal treat is typically spread on bread, taking it to the sandwich is a natural progression.

>>Mediterranean Tapenade Spread Recipe

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