Dear Mr. Bittman,
Smashed peas spread between two layers of bread does not make an easy sandwich to eat.
This week’s Food Matters Project recipe is for Tea Sandwiches. One of the variations Bittman gives is for gingered peas. Since I’m still on my Indian food kick, I decided to curry them instead of ginger them, and whipped up a little chutney for good measure. These really made a great lunch for me – and the components can be made ahead so you’ve got lunch all week – but they come with a warning label: Eating this sandwich may cause smashed peas to land on table, lap or floor. Consume with caution.
I used a large flake dried unsweetened coconut for the chutney, but if you can only find the small flakes, decrease the amount to 1/2 cup. Sweetened coconut, unfortunately, won’t really work here. And for the bread, what you see here is a toasted, sprouted grain bread. When grains are sprouted they digest like a vegetable, which makes it easier in the tummy, and not so starchy in the mouth. I keep mine in the freezer since I don’t eat a lot of bread, and just toast it when I need it. If you like your sandwich bread soft and squishy, you can use untoasted whole grain bread instead. This recipe makes more chutney than you will use for these sandwiches, but luckily you can stir the rest into a bowl of rice, top a fried egg, thin it out and use as a dressing, or garnish some soup.
Curried Pea Sandwiches with Coconut-Cilantro Chutney
1 lb. shell peas (~ 1 c. after shelling)
1 T. virgin coconut oil
2 tsp. curry powder
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
3/4 c. large flake dried coconut (or 1/2 c. small flake)
3/4 c. tightly packed fresh cilantro
1/4 c. raw cashews
1 green chili, de-stemmed, de-seeded and roughly chopped
1 in. knob of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
1 tsp. sweetener of choice (honey, agave, sucanant, brown sugar, etc.)
juice of 1 lime
3/4 tsp. sea salt
8 slices of thin, whole grain sandwich bread (I used sprouted grain)
Heat the oil in a skillet over medium low heat. Add the curry, a few pinches of salt and stir for 30 seconds. Add the peas, and stir to coat them in the curry oil. After a minute or two add the garlic, and cook for another few minutes until the peas are bright green. Watch that the garlic doesn’t burn. Remove from heat and smash with a potato masher or a fork. You can leave a few whole. Set aside.
Meanwhile, add all the chutney ingredients to a food processor, along with 1/4 c. water, and process. If it’s dry, add a bit more water, up to a 1/4 cup more, until the consistency is to your liking. If you want your bread toasted, now is the time.
To assemble, spread a thin layer of chutney on one side of each of the bread slices. Spoon the peas over half of the slices. Top with the rest of the slices of bread. Cut into triangles and serve.