Recipe: Grilled Zucchini Torta

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A torta is a Mexican grilled sandwich that you can fill with just about anything. It starts with a baguette spread with mashed, seasoned black beans then layered with fillings like grilled steak, chicken or vegetables. The toppings are only limited by your imagination. This recipe for a grilled zucchini torta is with hopes of catching up on the upwards of 10–12 pounds of zucchini in my fridge and taken from Rick Bayless’ version. One of my favorite toppings is pickled jalapenos—it is ridiculously easy to make so give it a shot.

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Adapted from a recipe by Rick Bayless
Servings: 6
Time: About 20 minutes active; 30 minutes total

1 1/4 pounds zucchini, cut into 1/2″ slices
1/2 pound red onion, cut into 1/4″ slices
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Salt, pepper and red pepper flakes
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup water
1 12 ounce baguette, cut into 6 sections and halved
1 ripe avocado, pitted, peeled, halved and cut into slices

1. Heat grill or grill pan. Brush zucchini and onion on one side with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Grill over medium high heat for about 3 to 4 minutes. Before turning, brush the other side with remaining extra virgin olive oil. Grill 3 to 4 more minutes. Remove from heat, but leave grill on medium.

2. Meanwhile in a shallow pan, put black beans, cumin, chili powder, cayenne, salt, garlic and water. Over medium-low heat, mash the mixture together. Mix with a spoon and keep bean mixture warm.

3. To assemble, divide bean mixture among baguettes and spread evenly on one side. Top with zucchini, onions, avocado and any other favorite topping, like pickled jalapenos, cheese, lettuce, etc.

4. Spray the grill or one side of the bread and put the torta on the grill. Top with a foil-covered brick or other similar weight. Grill 2 to 3 minutes on each side, then serve.

Writer Bio: Adrienne D. Capps loves food and is a vegetarian—she doesn’t believe these things are mutually exclusive. A vegetarian for the past nine years, Capps created Vegetarianized.com as a way to share her passion for eating, drinking, and cooking—and to make vegetarianism more accessible. The blog transforms meat dishes into vegetarian or improves vegetarian recipes and puts the results up in a weekly post called the Sunday Serving on the blog and at the Facebook Group Vegetarianized. Capps is also a food writer, teaches cooking classes in Davis and is an amateur caterer. Upcoming cooking classes and recent food articles are found on the blog home page.