Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

October 17, 2017
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Sweet potato and avocado sandwiches with tahini-poppy seed spread

Sweet potatoes are a surprise here. Without exception, everyone who lunches on this sandwich raves about the delectable combination of tastes.

Colourful and flavourful, this sandwich is always a hit, especially when accompanied with juicy Tuscan pepperoncini — thin, medium-hot chili peppers usually sold pickled.

For the tahini-poppy seed spread

1 tbsp. (15 ml) tahini (also called sesame butter or paste, made by grinding sesame seeds; stir before using)

1 tbsp. (15 ml) plain yogurt

2 tsp. (10 ml) fresh lemon juice

½ tsp. (2.5 ml) honey

¼ tsp. (1.25 ml) poppy seeds

For the filling

1 small, orange-fleshed sweet potato (about 7 oz./220 g), peeled and cut into 2-inch- (5-cm-) thick slices

4 slices whole-wheat bread

4 1/8-inch- (3-mm-) thick red onion slices

½ small avocado, peeled, pitted and cut into ¼-inch- (6-mm-) thick slices

4 ¼-inch- (6-mm-) tomato slices

salt and freshly ground pepper

¼ c. (60 ml) Monterey Jack cheese, shredded

alfalfa sprouts or finely shredded lettuce, as desired

To make the spread, whisk all the ingredients together in a small bowl.

To make the filling, cook the sweet potato slices in salted boiling water until fork-tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water, then drain again. Let cool, then cut the slices into six ¼-inch- (6-mm-) thick slices.

Lightly spread the tahini mixture on one side of 2 bread slices. Top each slice with half of the onion, avocado and tomato slices; sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Add a layer of half of the sweet potato slices, cheese and sprouts or lettuce. Top with the remaining bread slices. Slice the sandwiches in half. Fasten each half with a decorative sandwich pick. Makes 2 sandwiches.

Variations: 1. Substitute guacamole for the tahini-poppy seed spread; omit the avocado.

2. Rather than boiling the sweet potato slices, steam them over boiling water in a covered pot for 8 to 10 minutes. Or, cook the whole potato in the microwave: pierce several holes in the skin of the potato with a fork. Microwave on high for about 8 minutes or until fork-tender, then peel and slice.

3. A canned (not “candied”) sweet potato can be substituted for the fresh sweet potato.

Advance preparation: The spread can keep for up to 3 days in a covered container in the refrigerator. The sweet potato can be cooked earlier in the day and refrigerated.

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