I think we need to have a conversation about sandwiches. I’ll start. I love them. I could make sandwiches for the rest of my life (and probably will) and eat them with pure content. There’s so much you can do to them and so many ways to prepare them. And I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in this either because these things are everywhere, especially when summer rolls around. As I mentioned in my last post, the warm weather is here and sandwiches have followed closely in tow.
I have to warn you, this recipe takes a little time to complete, but the reward is that you can make leftovers as you go and you’ll end up with some very hefty sandwiches. I was surprised with what I had made. The two areas that will take the longest are the hummus and the roasted peppers. Neither of them are challenging at all, but if you had the idea of quickly throwing something together, this might not be for you. Unless, of course, you already have some hummus and roasted peppers prepared. In that case, the whole thing will take you about five minutes. Because of this, I recommend doubling or tripling up on those two items.
The flavor and weight in this recipe comes from the hummus. It’s spread on all three pieces of bread and uses some interesting and tasty ingredients. Garlic, parsley, basil and cumin to name a few. Depending on how much salt you’d like to add, it can be quite flavorful. The texture (and some flavor) comes from the peppers, tomato and avocado. Although these ingredients offer flavor, they are wonderful to experience in the mouth because they play well off each other. But really, the big bang and the thing you should spend most of your time on here is the hummus. That’s what people would tell their friends about.
Makes: 2 Sandwiches
I’ll offer the ingredient list in three parts; one for the hummus, one for the roasted red bell peppers and one for the sandwich itself. I’d also like to thank Paulette Michell for her cookbook called Vegetarian Sandwiches. I pulled these recipes from it and then modified them according to my own preferences.
1 Tablespoon Regular Olive Oil
1/4 Cup Sweet Onion, Chopped
2 Garlic Cloves, Minced
1/4 Cup Fresh Parsley, Chopped
1/2 Teaspoon Dried Basil
1/2 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Coriander
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
1/8 Teaspoon Ground Cumin
1 15.5 Ounce Can Chickpeas
3 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
2 Tablespoons Toasted Sesame Seeds
3 Tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Regular Table Salt
2 Red Bell Peppers
Regular Olive Oil
Regular Table Salt
6 Slices of Good Sandwich Bread
Garlic Hummus (recipe above)
2 Roasted Red Bell Peppers (recipe above)
1 Ripe Avocado
1 Large Ripe Tomato
I’ll start the process by preparing the hummus and then I’ll walk through how to roast the peppers. From there, it’s as easy as pie. I’ll finish up with putting the sandwich together.
Add the 1 tablespoon of regular olive oil to a large skillet and warm the pan to medium heat. Once to temperature, add the 1/4 cup of chopped sweet onion. Cook the onion, while stirring, for a few minutes until it begins to soften. Once that occurs, add in the minced garlic and stir for about 1 more minute.
After that, remove the skillet from the heat. Once removed, add in the 1/4 cup of chopped fresh parsley, the 1/2 teaspoon of dried basil, the 1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano, the 1/4 teaspoon of ground coriander, the 1/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper and the 1/8 teaspoon of ground cumin. Stir well.
Open the can of chickpeas and rinse. Then strain in a colander. Once strained, add them to a food processor. Also, add in the 3 tablespoons of lemon juice and process until the chickpeas are a nice, smooth consistency. At this point, they’ll still look a bit dry, so don’t sweat how smooth they become too much.
Then, combine the chickpeas from the food processor with the parsley and garlic mixture from the skillet into a medium size bowl. Mix well.
Finally, add the entire mixture back into the food processor, along with the 3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil. Process everything until it’s smooth. You may have to add a bit more oil if you want a more creamy texture. It’s up to you. I found that these measurements worked well for me.
Also, as you’re processing the hummus, you can add some salt, little by little, until you’re happy with the flavor. Or, you can simply process the hummus and add the salt later on in a bowl and mix by hand.
Making roasted peppers is actually quite simple. It sounds intimidating, but really, all you’re doing is putting the peppers under some intense heat until they soften and char. Once that happens, they’re done.
Go ahead and slice two red bell peppers in half length-wise. Remove the stem and the seeds. Also, clean out the white parts inside the peppers. Then, lay the pepper halves in a skillet, cut side down, and flatten them with your fist. Brush on some olive oil and sprinkle a few pinches of salt on the outside of the peppers.
Place the skillet in your oven and turn on the broiler to low. Cook for about 5-10 minutes or until the peppers begin to soften. Then, turn the boiler onto high and keep checking the peppers until you see the skins begin to blister and char.
The first part of the cooking is to soften the interior of the pepper and the second part is to add the char flavor to the skin. When finished, yours should look like mine in the above photo.
Finally, slice the pepper halves into strips, from top to bottom, about one inch thick. You can add as many to the sandwich as you’d like. You may have leftovers. We added our leftovers to our salads last night.
To start off, toast all 6 pieces of sandwich bread to your preference. I like bread toasted to the point that I can actually see that it’s toasted. After that, lay two pieces on a plate and spread some hummus on each piece. Remember, you should apply 1/6th of the hummus to each piece, so be liberal with it. This is where much of the flavor is going to come from.
After that, add some strips of the roasted red bell pepper to each piece of bread. Again, add what you think you’d enjoy. Just be careful not to add too much because this is a huge sandwich to begin with.
The next step is to spread half of the remaining hummus on two more pieces of bread. Add them to the sandwiches, on top of the roasted peppers. Then, peel, pit and slice the avocado so you have equal pieces for both sandwiches. Add them on top of the hummus.
For the tomatoes, just follow the same steps you took for the avocados. Slice them so you have equal pieces and then add them as the next layer.
After that, break some pieces of red lettuce up and add them as a layer on top of the tomatoes.
And finally, spread the remaining hummus on the last two pieces of toast and place them, hummus side down, onto each each sandwich.
This is a serious sandwich and I love it. I like the way it stands so high and is impressive to look at. If I were to make this recipe again (which I probably will), I would definitely make more hummus. That stores for a while in the refrigerator and I could eat sandwiches like this for a week. Enjoy!
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