This classic Mexican sandwich, or torta, swaps the usual meat for colorful grilled summer vegetables. The traditional black bean spread adds protein and acts as a moisture barrier so the bread stays extra crispy.
1 large red bell pepper
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 (15-ounce) can unsalted black beans, rinsed and drained
1 large zucchini, cut lengthwise into (1/4-inch-thick) slices
1 small red onion, cut into (1/4-inch-thick) slices
Cut bell pepper in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membranes. Place pepper halves, skin sides up, on a foil-lined baking sheet; flatten with hand. Broil 11 minutes or until blackened. Wrap pepper halves in foil. Let stand 5 minutes; peel. Cut into strips.
Place juice, oregano, oil, cumin, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, ground red pepper, and beans in the bowl of a food processor; pulse 5 times or until coarsely chopped.
Heat a grill pan over high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Arrange zucchini and onion slices on pan; grill 5 minutes on each side.
Hollow out top and bottom halves of bread, leaving a 1-inch-thick shell. Spread black bean mixture over bottom half of bread; top with zucchini, onion, and bell pepper. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, salt, and cheese. Top with top half of bread. Coat both sides of sandwich with cooking spray. Place sandwich on grill pan; top with a heavy skillet. Grill 3 minutes on each side or until cheese melts. Remove sandwich from pan; cut into quarters.
I took another reviewer's advice and only used 1 tablespoon of lime. I'm glad I did. Really tasty sandwich. I used my panini press and did press it down so it was less sloppy to eat. Hubby said it was like a burrito inside crunchy bread. Super easy to make too. Will make again.
These sandwiches are really delicious, but they do require some prep. Roasting your own red peppers is ideal, but I'd be just as happy using roasted red peppers from a jar to save time, as a previous reviewer noted. I used Mexican torta rolls instead of ciabatta, and I brushed the insides lightly with oil and toasted them on the grill pan along with the red onion and zucchini. Then I assembled the ingredients on the bottom half of the roll, using most of the bean mixture on just two tortas. (I also agree with the reviewer suggesting more than the recommended amount of bean mixture per sandwich.) Then I slid the bottom halves under the broiler and melted the cheese, topped them with the top halves of the rolls and served them. The fresh vegetables with the flavorful bean mixture on the toasted bread were so, so good. I'll definitely make these again, maybe even adding some leftover flank steak or chorizo.
This sandwich was really tasty. A few changes for next time. Use roasted red peppers in a jar to save on time. Season the vegetables while grilling. I cooked them longer too. Less lime juice and add salt to bean mixture. I will definitely add more bean mixture to the sandwich. The bread was really hard to toast and keep it together so toast before and then add vegetables. Also, I would put under the broil (open) to reheat the vegetables and melt the cheese. My husband stated he would like it better with steak.
Made as directed and it was very good. Came together fairly quick. Made one swapping out the ciabatta for sour dough,this was not as tasty; the sour doughy and lime in the beans made it a bit to sour. Stick with the ciabatta bread.
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