A couple weeks ago we took a trip to my brother’s vacation home in Highlands, North Carolina. It’s one of my favorite places, nestled into the Nantahala National Forest in the Blue Ridge Mountains…..it’s where we go to unplug. And while I like to relax, I tend to recharge my batteries more from exploring new places and visiting favorite cities. Our first day trip from Highlands is always to Asheville, North Carolina. It is becoming one of my all time favorite cities! Downtown Asheville is such a delight; the shops and restaurants are diverse, engaging, and interesting. The street artists and vendors have really unique wares and are all so friendly and anxious to discuss their art. Then of course comes the best part of visiting downtown Asheville…..lunch!!!! This last time we ate at a place called Carmel’s Kitchen & Bar where I had a most delicious veggie sandwich which was the inspiration for today’s post. I knew from my very first bite that I needed to come up with a version of this sandwich so, my Veggie Bagel Sandwich with Raspberry Vinaigrette came to be!
But first things first….lets talk Raspberry Vinaigrette! I’ve always had a love for all things raspberry and it was so fun to develop this recipe. And when I say I could drink it through a straw I’m not even exaggerating! It’s sweet, tangy, and spicy, and a perfect complement to the veggie bagel sandwich. I used fresh raspberries, white wine vinegar, extra light tasting EVOO, a little salt, chile-infused honey from the Asheville Bee Charmer store (a visit to this store alone makes the 2,000 mile round-trip drive all worth it 😉), red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, and poppy seeds. Place everything except the olive oil in your food processor and pulse just a few times until the berries and spices are blended. Then drizzle in the olive oil while processing on low speed. Once it’s all emulsified, be sure to taste it to make sure it’s seasoned to your preference. This is a dressing that I plan to use over and over again in many of my recipes!
Tip: Feel free to substitute plain honey and add more red pepper flakes if you like it spicy. I add more spice to the already spiced honey…what can I say…I like it hot!
- 1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries
- 6 tbsp extra light tasting EVOO
- 3 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp chile-infused honey
- 2 cloves or 2 tsp chopped fresh garlic
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp poppy seeds
- Place raspberries, vinegar, honey, garlic, salt, red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, and poppy seeds in bowl of food processor. Pulse until berries and spices are blended.
- Slowly drizzle in EVOO while processing on low until all the ingredients are emulsified.
- Taste and adjust seasoning to your preference.
- Refrigerate in air tight covered container or jar.
The veggie sandwich itself couldn’t be easier and it’s perfect for those hot and humid dog days of summer which we know will be here soon. Once the vegetables are prepped, it’s a simple matter of assembling the sandwich and enjoying a light refreshing lunch or even a busy weeknight dinner. For my sandwich I used a toasted Sprouted Wheat Onion & Poppyseed Bagel from Alvarado St. Bakery. They are made from all organic ingredients and I find them in the freezer case of my local grocer’s Health Market section of the store. For the vegetables, I chose to use avocado, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, carrots, scallions, radishes, and baby spinach. Before I pile on the veggies I smear a healthy amount of hummus on one half of my toasted bagel. Now I could make my own hummus, sure….but there is a hummus I’m able to buy from a local restaurant, Oasis Falafel , that is so delicious and beyond better than any I could make myself, I’d be a fool not to use it! I recommend that you use your absolutely favorite hummus – whether it be store bought or homemade – this sandwich deserves the best!
Tip: Try slicing your radishes and cucumbers with a mandolin. You’ll get perfectly uniform slices thinner that you probably could with a knife, which just makes for a prettier sandwich!
- 2 bagels, sliced and toasted
- 2 tbsp hummus
- 2 tbsp raspberry vinaigrette (Find the recipe on cookeatbehealthy.com)
- 1/2 ripe avocado, thinly sliced
- 1/2 small cucumber, thinly sliced
- 4 radishes, sliced thin
- 1 scallion, sliced thin
- 6 cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup shredded carrots
- 1/4 cup loosely packed Baby spinach leaves
- On one half of each toasted bagel spread 1 tbsp hummus.
- Top the hummus spread bagel half with shredded carrots, sliced cucumber, radish, and scallions, and then with sliced avocado, cherry tomatoes, and baby spinach leaves.
- Drizzle each layered bagel half with Raspberry Vinaigrette and assemble sandwiches with remaining bagel tops.
- Slice in half and enjoy!