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. Ours is stuffed with roasted poblano peppers and panko crusted avocado. The poblano adds a savory element and some roasty toasty Mexican flavor. Add an extra flavorful spread out of black beans and Mexican spices and you’re set for a delicious veggie meal.
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional, or to taste)
2 ripe avocados, sliced into 1/2 inch thick strips
For the Roasted Poblano Peppers:
2 poblano peppers, seeded and quartered
1 tablespoon olive oil
For the Black Bean Spread:
1 (14-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained (or 1 3/4 cups cooked)
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
4 bolillo or telera rolls, or 1 French baguette cut into 4 sections, sliced open
4 large green leaf lettuce leaves
To Make the Crispy Baked Avocados:
Whisk the soy or almond milk, cornstarch and ground flaxseed together in a small bowl. Let the mixture sit for at least 10 minutes.
Preheat oven to 425°F. Coat a baking sheet with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
Stir the panko breadcrumbs, salt, pepper and cayenne together in a small bowl.
Dip an avocado strip into the flax mixture, gently turning to coat all sides. Transfer the avocado strip to the panko mixture. Gently turn the avocado to adhere the panko mixture to each side. Place the avocado strip onto the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining avocado strips. Gently brush or spray the tops of the strips with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
Bake the avocado for about 20 minutes, until lightly browned and crisp, gently turning after 10 minutes.
To Roast the Poblano Peppers:
Rub the peppers lightly with olive oil and arrange on a second baking sheet. Place them in the oven with the avocado and bake for about 16 minutes, until tender and darkened in spots, turning after 8 minutes.
To Make the Black Bean Spread:
While the avocado slices and poblano peppers roast, place all of the spread ingredients into the bowl of a food processor fitted with an S-blade. Process until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
To Assemble the Tortas:
Hollow out the rolls by scooping out the soft centers. Slather the black bean spread inside the top and bottom halves of each roll, then layer with the crispy baked avocados, roasted poblano peppers and lettuce leaves.
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.