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Not Your Mom's Hoagie!

Updated: Jul 10, 2023

Maybe you have to be from Southwestern Pennsylvania to know the term "hoagie" because when I used this word with my Philadelphia friends they didn't know what I was talking about. A "hoagie" (in case you don't know) is any sandwich on a long roll. It's what people in other geographic areas call a "submarine sandwich" or simply a "sub" and is sometimes also called a "hero". Since there is a national fast food chain called "Subway", I'm pretty sure that "sub" must be the actual name of this type of sandwich that most people are familiar with. Otherwise, they would have called their restaurant "Hoagieway".

This is not the hoagie that I used to eat as a kid when my family ordered takeout from the local pizza shop. That hoagie was called "The Italian" and had some sort of mystery meat, tasteless tomatoes, mushy cheese, and soggy, shredded head lettuce. I call this hoagie "Not Your Mom's Hoagie" since I have totally remade the whole concept of the hoagie I ate as a child using many of vegetables not typically found in a sandwich. Really only the roll is the same. Enjoy!

Not Your Mom's Hoagie

Serves 4

4 "hoagie" rolls (or whatever name you use for sandwich rolls) 1 small avocado, pit and outer skin removed 2 Tbs tarragon leaves (strip from the stalk) 1/4 cup chopped (easier to snip with scissors) chives, plus 2 Tbs for garnish juice of a large lemon 1 tsp agave nectar 1 clove garlic 1/4 cup (or less) water 2 collard green leaves, center stalk removed and leaves chopped into small pieces 4 small white potatoes 12 stalks asparagus 4 radishes 4 tsp good quality aged balsamic vinegar, or to taste First make avocado "mayonnaise".  Since there is no egg in this, it is not technically a mayonnaise, but that is what I call it since it has the consistency of mayonnaise and is to be used as a sandwich spread.  Place the avocado, 1/4 cup chives, tarragon leaves, lemon juice, agave nectar, and garlic in a blender or food processor.  How much you chop these up first really depends on how powerful your machine is. If your machine is not particularly powerful you will want to chop up the ingredients a bit first.  Process/blend until smooth. With the motor running, add just enough water in a slow steady stream to produce a smooth spread. Remove from blender/processor into a dish, stir in salt and pepper, cover and chill in refrigerator until ready to use.

Set whole potatoes in a steamer basket. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and set steamer basket over the water and cover. Cook approximately 10 minutes.

While potatoes are cooking fill a large bowl with ice water. When potatoes are just fork tender remove them with a spoon and place in the ice water (don't skip this step - it does make a difference - you don't want to end up with mushy potatoes that can't be sliced). Place asparagus in the steamer basket and cook 1-2 minutes just until the asparagus turns bright green. Remove the asparagus with tongs to the ice water (again - do not skip this step - it's worth it to have bright green crisp tender asparagus).   When potatoes and asparagus have cooled, slice them - the potatoes into thin rounds and the asparagus into 1-inch pieces.  

Now assemble your hoagies (see photos below). Slice open each roll and spread about 2 tablespoons of the avocado mayo on each. Next top the bread with some of the chopped collards.  Layer the potato slices and asparagus pieces over this.  Finally, top with radish slices, some additional chopped chives, and salt and pepper.  Drizzle a little of the balsamic vinegar over each sandwich. Close the sandwich and voila! You have an updated take on an old fashioned sandwich - it’s "Not Your Mom's” hoagie!

Spread 2 tablespoons of the avocado mayo on the bread.

Top with chopped collard greens.

Layer with potato slices and asparagus.

Garnish with radish slices, chives, salt, and pepper.

Close up the bread and voila! It's not your Mom's hoagie!


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