Ribs are great. Wings are great. In fact, expect plenty of exciting recipes and suggestions about them here in the future. But they do have one significant drawback when you’re eating them — two hands are necessary.

This presents a challenge. Surely there are plenty of other productive things to do with your free hand, like, say, high five your friends, hold your beer, point at something funny.

Grady Sizemore Foam Finger

Bread just makes things easier

As such, sandwiches make for great tailgating food but — as they seem incompatible with the grilling culture — parking-lot gourmets tend to overlook them.

Let’s change that.

Do not fear change

This Mediterranean sandwich is versatile and intriguing. While not your traditional tailgate fare, it’s a welcome departure from the same old hot dogs and hamburgers you might be used to serving up at the game.  And it goes great with a light, sweet Pilsner to cut down the saltiness of the salami.

All about the cheese

The real standout in this simple sandwich is the fresh bocconcini, or, as it’s more commonly referred to in the States, buffalo mozzarella. Not to be confused with Buffalo, NY, the hometown of the buffalo wing, buffalo mozzarella is so named because it uses buffalo milk, not cow’s milk. While it’s unlikely that you’ll find 100% buffalo milk mozzarella in your favorite supermarket, check your local Italian deli for the real thing.

Mediterranean Sandwich

Here’s what you’ll need to prepare before you get there:

  • 1 Turkish bread cut into 6 equal sections
  • butter
  • 18 slices of genoa salami
  • 6 bocconcini, sliced
  • 1 cup pesto sauce
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes cut in half

At the House

Cut the bread sections through the center and set aside the top halves. Lightly butter the inside of both halves. Divvy up the salami, cheese, bocconcini, pesto, and tomatoes evenly among the sandwiches. Put the tops on and wrap. Put in the fridge if they’re for a future date.

Here’s what you’ll need when you get there:

  • olive oil

You can finish off these Mediterranean sandwiches in a number of ways, depending on how robust (or not) your tailgate set-up is.

At the Game

If you have electricity: Your best bet is a panini grill or sandwich toaster. Rub olive oil on the top and bottom and toast until golden brown.

If you have a gas or charcoal grill: Rub both sides with olive oil and place the whole sandwich on the heat. Let warm for 3-5 minutes, then flip. To get the panini effect, you can press the sandwich down with an aluminum-foil-wrapped brick (a la brick chicken) or a heavy frying pan. Do this on both sides.

If you’re not cooking: Well, there’s no reason you have to grill this sandwich. Eat up!