It's a new week, but we're still cooking from that big pot of black beans we started with.
So far we've made a spicy hearty black bean soup, and paired fried black bean cakes with a savory and slightly spicy poblano sage cream sauce. Today, we're making a sandwich spread with our beans and putting together a delicious torta-inspired vegetarian sandwich.
The structure of our sandwich spread is similar to mayonnaise, only instead of the protein from eggs, we're getting our structural protein from some black beans that have been through a food processor. The fat will come from olive oil and the food processor will help beat air into the mix. Add a little lime juice, some garlic powder, and some cayenne and you've got a spread that complements the classic combination of red onions, avocado and cheese.
I made this for us for dinner, and enjoyed it enough to take a batch of small containers with the sandwich ingredients with me to work for lunch the next day. The freshly constructed sandwich was as good as the one from the night before. You could certainly assemble a sandwich, wrap it up in clingfilm and take it to work, but I recommend assembling the sandwich on site. Just make sure you toast the bread at home if, like most people, you only have a microwave at your place of work.
This is only one possible sandwich you could make with this spread. Roasted sweet or hot peppers, spinach, romaine, sprouts - any of these would work well in a sandwich anchored with a black bean spread.
Black Bean Sandwich Spread
2 cups cooked black beans
as much as 1/2 cup olive oil
juice of two small or one large lime
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
salt, pepper to taste
For sandwich -
Crusty white bread
chichuahua cheese, shredded
thinly sliced red onion (use a mandoline)
roasted peppers, anchovies, spinach, bean sprouts, fresh pepper slices, etc...
In a food processor or blender (food processor is much preferred), add the beans and pulse until well chopped up. Turn food processor on to run continuously and slowly drizzle in olive oil. Add spices and lime juice and blend well. taste and adjust salt and pepper to suit. Process until the spread is smooth and has a lighter aerated look to it, about two minutes.
Cut a good sized hunk of bread off the loaf and split it in half. Put a dry skillet over high heat and toast both the split sides of the bread in it until golden brown.
Spread the black bean spread on each side and assemble the sandwich alternating "sticky" ingredients like cheese with "slick" ingredients likely to squirt out the side of the sandwich like tomatoes. This should help anchor the slick ingredients.
If you wish, you may microwave the completed sandwich for 30 seconds to warm the bread, but be careful - microwaved bread gets chewy and loses much of its crusty crunch.
Carefully unhinge your jaw like a hungry anaconda and eat.