While cooking, listen to this: Rhiannon by Fleetwood Mac
Guys, it's been a while. And we're real sorry about that. Life has a way of sucking you in and we were two serious victims of that. But we've made it through to the other side! Hair a bit windblown, but otherwise we've made it.
Spring is finally here and we couldn't more thrilled. Unlike the cheat we got this past fall, summer seems to be holding its full-force self at bay and letting us enjoy the cool breezes and quiet rains of spring. Finally, a real season - no half-assed snow dusting or color change accompanied by full-blown humidity. And what's a better way to celebrate spring than with something colorful and fresh?
While this sandwich is really all about the rainbow aesthetic, we're never ones to sacrifice taste for the Insta. Rina and I bounced around a few ideas for this vegan rainbow veggie sandwich, and ultimately decided that the best kind of sandwich is the customizable kind.
So, on the very first day of secret spring (spring before it officially arrived), when it was warm enough to sit out on blankets in the park with wine and friends, Rina and I made this colorful sandwich, wrapped in wax paper and twine, just like an old-fashioned general store. I mean, can you think of a more springtime thing than picnics in the park with friends? The best way to invite this weather is with something between slices of bread, and as usual, we've got you covered.
Life can't keep us away from beautiful weather, though I will be doing a bit of traveling these sunnier months, starting with an adventure through Germany with a friend in a couple of weeks. I couldn't be more excited, though I'm not so convinced that Germany has the culinary sophisticate of Italy, I'm always down for beer and pretzels. We'll see how our recipe holds up. I'll report back post-travels.
In the meantime, dig into this colorful sandwich that will get you eating all of yo veggies. Sub in gluten free bread if that's your thing, swap in and out veggies of your choosing, but whatever you do don't skimp on the avocado! Believe you me, there's nothing a mash of that stuff can't fix - a busy week, confusing weather, weird co-workers or a subpar date. Avocado's got your back. And so do we!
PS - my coworkers and I bought Fleetwood Mac tickets for next YEAR (eep!). Anyone else a mega-fan? Stevie can sneeze into a mic and I'd be near-tears. CAN'T WAIT.
VEGAN RAINBOW VEGGIE SANDWICH
Yield: 2-3 sandwiches
Inactive Cook Time: 1h | Active Cook Time: 10m
Category: Sandwiches, Main, Vegan
Source: beet hummus from Minimalist Baker
Special Equipment: food processor/high-speed blender; mandolin (optional, but will yield thinner slices than a knife)
Note: you will probably have some leftover beet hummus and spicy lemon tahina - perfect for dipping more bread or veggies!
1 small purple beet
1 15-ounce can chickpeas
Zest from 1 large lemon
Juice from ½ of a large lemon
Pinch each of salt and black pepper
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 heaping Tablespoons tahina
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
roasted veggie fillings:
1 large sweet potato, thinly sliced with a mandolin or knife
3 medium golden beets
1-2 Tablespoons olive oil
Pinch sea salt
spicy lemon tahina:
¼ cup tahina
Zest from 1 lemon
Juice from ½ of a lemon
Hot sauce, to taste
Hot water, to thin
Pinch salt and black pepper
remaining sandwich bits:
1 loaf "good bread" (hi, ina), sliced - we went with sourdough, but use your favorite
1 bunch of radishes, thinly sliced
Leaves from 1 small head of butter lettuce
1 avocado, slightly mashed
Salt and pepper, to taste
Roast the beets: preheat the oven to 450F. Wrap the purple beet and golden beets individually in foil and place in a baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour, or until a knife smoothly pierces through the middle of each beet. Allow to cool for a few minutes, then peel with your hands when you can handle them. Do NOT wait until they're cool, their peels will be impossible to get off. Thinly slice the golden beets.
Roast the sweet potatoes: drizzle the sweet potato slices with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Toss to coat, and spread evenly on a baking sheet. Bake along with the beets for 10 minutes, flip, then bake for 10 minutes more, until cooked through but still holding their shape.
Make the hummus: cut the purple beet into quarters and add to your food processor/blender. Blend until the beet has turned into tiny bits. Add the chickpeas, lemon zest and juice, salt, pepper, garlic and tahina. Blend until smooth. If possible, add the olive oil in slowly while the food processor/blender is on. If not, no worries! Just add a little at a time and blend after each addition. Once all of the oil has been added, taste to see if you think it needs more lemon/salt/garlic/etc.
Make the spicy lemon tahina: in a small bowl combine the tahina, lemon juice and zest, hot sauce, salt and pepper. Add hot water 1 Tablespoon at a time until the tahina is thin enough to drizzle.
Assemble! schmear some beet hummus onto one side of bread, and layer the radishes, sweet potato, golden beets and butter lettuce on top. On the second side of bread, spread the slight mashed avocado and drizzle with the spicy lemon tahina. Sprinkle some salt and pepper over both sides and squish together. If you want to package these up a bit for a picnic, wrap the sandwich in wax paper, secure the edges with tape and use a serrated knife to cut in half.
To keep: the roasted veggies will keep well for a few days in the fridge, but like all good sandwiches, wait until you're ready to eat to make this.