Friday, August 4
Last weekend Dustin and I spent 2 days with our wonderful friends Ali and Ty, who happen to live in a town I totally adore - Asheville, North Carolina. Ali and I have been friends for 20 years now (we love to brag about that), and when she said she was moving to Asheville, my heart fluttered and danced around in my chest. And then imagine how overjoyed I was when my other best friend, Jenni, and her boyfriend Adam decided to up and move to Asheville too! Since they moved here a year ago, we've been to visit often, and we always drive back down the mountain on Sunday with our bellies full and our heads slightly aching. We tend to party enough Saturday night that Sunday morning always warrants a large and filling breakfast or brunch before we leave town.
Mostly I love Asheville because of my dear friends there, but I'd be lying if I didn't admit an alterior motive for our frequent visits. Asheville is chock full of great restaurants...mostly they are small, family run places with good honest food. Being a town full of colorful characters, Asheville never wants for variety or action, which is why I'm so drawn to it, and it's food.
Last weekend, when we pulled into town, our collective hunger led us out into the heat to search for a good vegetarian lunch spot. We ended up at Rosetta's - a funky little spot with a huge menu and a wealth of creative and unique vegetarian dishes. Ali ordered her standard - a smoked tofu and avocado sandwich with walnut sauce. I ordered the same, and when it was all said and done, I was one happy luncher. We were barely out the door and I started wondering how to make that walnut sauce, so I could recreate that fabulous sandwich at home.
The walnut herb sauce at Rosetta's was smooth and very rich - I made my sauce chunkier, because I wanted some texture and crunch, and I used a smaller amount of tahini (I'm guessing). With some internet searching under my belt, at lunch today I set about making my version of the walnut herb sauce, and I paired it again with smoked tofu, but I chose a beautiful slice of tomato from our garden over the avocado. The tomato added a brightness to the sandwich that I was missing before. Some spinach to get my greens in, and 2 slices of spelt bread made it official - this is a sandwich worth making again.
Walnut Tahini Sauce
1 cup walnuts
2 Tbsp. tahini (roasted)
3 - 4 Tbsp. lemon juice
1-2 big handfuls parsley leaves
2 cloves garlic
2 tsp. olive oil
Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
Combine everything in a mini food processor and blend until it reaches your desired consistency. Taste for seasoning.
Note: If you wanted a smooth sauce, you would need to add more tahini and lemon juice, or olive oil. This sauce might be difficult to make in a regular sized food processor unless you made a larger quantity. If you wanted to make a small quantity and don't have a mini food prep, I'd try a mortle and pestle or just mince everything fine and combine well.
If you are making the sandwich above, definitely use smoked tofu - it adds so much flavor.