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I’m a sandwich kind of girl. I can’t deny that I love a nice, fat sandwich loaded with veggies and some sort of shmear; whether it’s vegan cream cheese, hummus, nut cheese or nut butter. This recipe combination kind of happened on accident. Mike and I were attempting to make a creamy garlic and cashew sauce for a vegan pad thai dish, and the sauce came out like butter. The other recipe went very well with the garlic cashew butter, but we had so much left over. We threw it in the refrigerator and carried on. I woke up the next morning with a revelation that the cashew butter should be used like shmear, on veggie sandwiches. We jumped in the car and hit our local farmers market in New Smyrna Beach on Saturday morning; bought fresh organic bread from our favorite baker, yellow tomatoes from our produce lady and even found a new vendor for the greens. The arugula actually was wilted, but the vendor threw in a second bunch completely free that seemed to have more life sustained than the first wilted bunch. Whoever said wilted greens weren’t an “in” food item? Anyway, here’s the recipe:

sandwich assembly ingredients:

  • 1 large bunch large arugula (or 1 box/bag store bought types)
  • 3 medium yellow tomatoes (more on the ripe-r side)
  • 1 loaf Italian or sourdough bread, sliced
  • salt & pepper for taste
  • 1 cup homemade garlic cashew butter (or hummus or something along those lines)

garlic cashew butter ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound whole raw cashews
  • 1 box vegetable broth
  • 10 cloves garlic, peeled and kept whole
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (grapeseed or canola is fine too)
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp honey 0r agave (yes, I know honey is NOT vegan, but I actually eat a very small amount of local honey because it is proven to help with allergies – which mine are absolutely terrible, so any remedy helps!)

garlic cashew butter directions: In a smaller saucepan, heat 1/4 cup of oil on medium heat. Add the whole cloves of garlic and sauté until golden brown, next add the cashews in and allow to simmer in the garlic oil mixture. After about 10 minutes, add enough vegetable stock to cover the top of the cashews and simmer for an additional 10 minutes. Add more stock if necessary. Remove the saucepan from the heat and set aside to cool for 15-20 minutes. After cooling, pour the mixture by batches into a blender or food processor and pulse until it completely smooth and creamy – like butter. You may need to add more veggie stock depending if the mixture is too dry or chunky. Squeeze the juice (no pits though) from 1 lemon into the blender, add a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and the teaspoon of honey or agave. Pulse until everything is consistent and well-blended, again, like BUTTER. And that’s it! enjoy this mixture with pasta, on bread/sandwiches, pretzels, crackers, veggie dippers, whatever! It’s so delicious.

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sandwich directions: Makes 6 sandwiches. Toast your bread in the oven or in a toaster appliance to your toasty-ness preference. While your bread is toasting, wash the arugula and tomatoes really well. I try to buy from the local farmer’s market on the weekends and typically the stuff is straight from the farm and extra dirty – which I love! After washing, if you opted for larger arugula, remove the bigger ribs and separate the leaves. Keep the arugula whole. Slice your tomatoes paper thin, or about as close as you can get. Remove your toasted bread slices and slather with the garlic cashew butter. Then layer with tomatoes, salt & pepper, arugula and finish by topping with a garlic cashew buttered slice of toast. And that’s it. So simple and so satisfying. Enjoy!