These ooey gooey sandwiches feature asparagus, a vegetable loaded with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Asparagus is also an excellent source of folic acid, which is important for heart health, among many other health benefits. Enjoy fresh local asparagus now while it’s in season!
MAKES 6 SANDWICHES
Use organic ingredients when possible
12 slices good-quality sourdough bread
6 oz. (170g) Applewood smoked cheddar or gouda, grated or sliced
12 oz. (340g or 1 bunch) asparagus
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 ripe avocados
½ tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
2 medium tomatoes, sliced
Sea salt and pepper, to taste
2 tbsp avocado oil, plus 1 tbsp for gilling the sandwiches (or use grass fed butter)
Start by preparing the asparagus either in the oven or on the barbeque. Preheat either one to 500 degrees F. Rinse the asparagus thoroughly and snap off the lower part of the stalks where they break easily (this part is too tough to eat). Drizzle the asparagus lightly with avocado oil and sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt and pepper. Arrange the spears in a single layer on a baking sheet or place on the grill. Roast/grill until just tender, about 6 to 8 minutes, turning the spears at the halfway mark to ensure even cooking. Once cool enough to handle, slice the spears in half and divide into 6 portions. Set aside.
In a sauté pan or skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of avocado oil and add the sliced red onion. Sauté on medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes until soft and lightly caramelized. Season to taste with sea salt and pepper. Add a splash of water to prevent it from burning. Turn off the heat and stir in the balsamic vinegar. Set aside.
In a small bowl, mash the avocadoes until almost smooth. Stir in the garlic powder and apple cider vinegar. Set aside.
To assemble each sandwich, start by adding about 1oz (28g) of cheese to a slice of bread. Then add a portion of the halved asparagus. Next, add some of the caramelized onion and a couple slices of tomato. Spread about a tablespoon of the avocado “mayo” on the second slice of bread and top the sandwich with it. Press down gently. Repeat with remaining ingredients for additional sandwiches.
Heat the oil or butter in a skillet over medium-low heat. Heat the sandwiches until the bread is golden on both sides and the cheese has melted, about 3 minutes per side. You can use a panini press if you have one. I just use a heavy cast-iron skillet or lid to press the sandwiches.
Serve while still hot (and don’t forget the napkins!).