As a kid I always looked forward to Saturday night dinner. This was the night where my mom ditched the pot roast or tuna noodle casserole recipes that typically filled up our week and went for a more casual meal of sloppy joes or a crusty french bread pizza.
As a vegetarian cooking mom of three, I still look forward to Saturday dinners. Although our meals are now lacking meat, they are most definitely not lacking in flavor. This most recent "Saturday night" dinner I came up with has now become our new favorite. Please take my word for it when I tell you how AMAZING this sandwich is!
Serve them up with a salad for a main meal, or they could also work great as an appetizer.
Cheesy Open-Faced Avocado Chickpea Sandwiches
2 cups finely chopped spinach that has been washed and dried
1 roasted red pepper, diced (see below)*
8 ounces freshly grated cheese (I used half pepper jack and half cheddar)
1 ripe avocado
2 green onions, diced
1 loaf whole wheat french bread
1 (14.5 ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed well (or dried beans cooked, which is what I prefer)
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat an outdoor grill to medium heat or an oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Slice the french bread lengthwise and set aside.
3. Mash the chickpeas along with the avocado with a potato masher until you have a chunky/smooth consistency. Season with the garlic powder and a pinch of salt and pepper to taste.
4. Add the diced *roasted red pepper, green onions, chopped spinach, and grated cheese. Stir until combined.
5. Divide the mixture between the cut bread lengths and cook until the outside of the bread is crispy and the mixture is warm and the cheese is melted.
6. Slice and enjoy!
*To roast a red pepper: Place the pepper in a hot oven on a sheet pan until all the sides are black and charred. Or, place the pepper directly on the flame of a gas stovetop. Rotate until all the sides are charred. Place the pepper in a brown paper bag for 10 minutes to all it to steam. Remove the black charred skin. Do NOT rinse the pepper under water- this removes flavor.