If you can make a pizza base out of spiralized kumara you must be able to make an imitation sandwich? Surely?
Indeed you can. And quite easily.
As with the pizza base the thing about using spiralized kumara as a sandwich base is that it absorbs all the flavours you throw into it during the cooking phase and it is nutritionally dense and satisfying.
It is especially great with children because it shows that there are some great tasting alternative to two slices of bread.
There are any number of ways you could prepare this meal. The real only preparation being the ‘slices of bread’, and while I have presented a version here I imagine there are some other gems waiting to be mined.
This sandwich was made out of a spare spiralized kumara all-purpose sandwich, pizza base. I made a grilled chicken open-topped sandwhich last night and made an extra base which I cut into quarters and stored in the refrigerator. Not that I had any particular plan in mind.
So when my daughter came home from her NCEA English exam today and uttered the words that every parent knows, ‘I’m hungry, what is there to eat’, the spare sandwich, pizza base was too good to pass up.
Today was simply ten minutes to warm the ‘bread’ and then throw on the fillings.
The ingredients for the sandwich base are, more or less:
For the sandwich filling you can use whatever you like but I used:
The first step is to spiralize the kumara. You need to be reasonably careful when spiralizing a kumara. It is a very hard vegetable and is at the top end of break-the-spiralizer-if-you-are-not-careful continuum.
Use the two handles and try not to spiralize kumara that are too big. With the bigger kumara I wind it manually through the spiralizer without using the handle.
Choosing vegetable that are symetrical with no kinks also helps.
There are a number of ways you could do the first stage of cooking but I use stir frying the kumara in coconut oil and garlic as it gives it such an amazing flavour. I imagine you could steam, or even pass this stage altogether and go straight to the baking but I think part of the amazing taste of this dish is the initial stir fry in coconut oil.
I simply stir fry for about five minutes by which time the kumara will be softish, without being mushy. You need to take into account that it is going through another cooking stage.
Once the kumara noodles are cooked I take the pan off the stove and allow them to cool in the pan for 10 minutes.
Once you have the spirals cooked it is time to prepare the binding. This time I used:
The next step is to find a suitable pan to bake the sandwich base. I use a nine inch round cake tin with a spring clip. I actually wanted to experiment with something that was a bit smaller so that I could approximate the hamburger look, but with the bigger base I ended up just quartering it.
Simply line the tin with cooking paper. Add the kumara spirals and press them down firmly and evenly. Then pour through the liquid.
Bake in the oven on about 170 for five minutes or until the mixture is reasonably set.
Because I originally made the bases for an open-topped sandwich and I wanted them to have a ‘hamburger’ feel I added another interim cooking step.
I allowed the bases to cool, then re-fried them in a little more coconut oil until they were browned on both sides, which also added a little more stiffness. Not a necessary step but it did add to the flavour.
The final step for the sandwich was to reheat and add the filling. I used:
The word from my daughter last night when I did the grilled chicken burger version was ‘this is my new favourite’!
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