Photos by Emily Caruso
Let’s celebrate the day after Cinco de Mayo with some Mexican food, shall we? I’m up for any excuse to eat Mexican food, so I’ll just take Cinco de Mayo as a big old catalyst for a Mexican food kick…or maybe I’ll just admit that I’ve been on a nonstop Mexican food kick for most of my life. One thing I don’t generally consider, as I constantly daydream about Mexican food, is sandwiches. I lived in southern California for six years, and I ate a lot of Mexican food in that time. I never once ate a Mexican sandwich. Turns out I was missing out. Big time.
It makes perfect sense when you think about all the delicious stuff that goes into vegetarian Mexican food: beans, veggies, avocados, and lots of spicy goodness. Folks, these things belong on a sandwich. So that’s where I put them.
In case the idea of a Mexican sandwich is new to you, as it was to me, let me introduce you to the torta. The only real requirement is the type of bread, which would be a bolillo or telera roll, both of which you can basically think of as mini versions of a crusty French baguette. With that in mind, you can sub a French baguette if you can’t find a bolillo or telera roll (so I guess that’s not really a requirement at all).
If you were to pick up a torta on the streets of Mexico City, you’d probably get your roll stuffed with grilled meat and cheese. But since I’ve already declared that there are no real requirements for a torta, I went and stuffed mine with roasted poblano peppers and panko crusted avocado. If you’ve never tried crispy baked avocado before, prepare to be amazed. The panko coating gives it an outer texture reminiscent of eggplant parm, but inside is pure creamy avocado deliciousness. The poblano adds a savory element and some roasty toasty Mexican flavor. Instead of slathering the bread with mayo or the like, I went and created an extra flavorful spread out of black beans and Mexican spices, which conveniently whips up in all of five minutes while your avocado and poblano bake away.
For the Crispy Baked Avocados:
For the Roasted Poblano Peppers:
For the Black Bean Spread:
To Make the Crispy Baked Avocados:
To Roast the Poblano Peppers:
To Make the Black Bean Spread:
To Assemble the Tortas:
Make sure to use avocados that are ripe, but not over ripe. They should still be nice and green and have a bit of firmness.
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