Leftover Plantain Melts
with citrus and avocado salad
Use leftover plantains from earlier in the week (or quickly roast some in the oven) for these vegetarian Cubano-inspired sandwiches with melted cheese and sliced pickles. This last appeared in a meal plan in 2019.
Smarts: To flatten these sandwiches like panini, we like to place a heavy skillet over the top while they're cooking. You can also use a panini press if you have one!
- Shallots - 1/2 clove , diced
- Oranges - 1 , segments
- Avocados - 1 , sliced
- Lettuce, butterhead or Boston leaf (sub any mixed greens) - 1 head , leaves torn
- Vinegar, red or white wine - 3 tsp
- Mustard, Dijon - 1 tsp
- Honey - 1 tsp
- Oil, cooking - 2 Tbsp
- Plantains, large - 3 (ripe plantains resemble bananas but should be very dark brown on the outside)
- Pickles, dill (opt) - 1/2 cup , sliced
- Mayonnaise - 3 Tbsp
- Mustard, Dijon - 1 Tbsp
- Baguette, soft - 10 oz (look for a soft, not crusty variety; sub sandwich bread)
- Cheese, Swiss - 4 slices (sub provolone)
- Butter - 2 Tbsp
Shallots - Dice shallots. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Roast plantains - (Skip this step if already done ahead for Tuesday's meal.) Heat oven to 425F / 218C. Peel and slice plantains. Brush a sheet pan with some oil. Add plantains in a single layer and brush with some more oil. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Bake, turning halfway through cooking, until golden brown, 15 to 17 minutes total. (Can be done up to 4 days ahead of time)
Pickles - Thinly slice pickles (if not already sliced). (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Combine mayonnaise and mustard (portion for sandwiches). Slice bread in half and spread mayonnaise / mustard on the inside. Top the bottom half with leftover plantains, pickles, and cheese. Add the top half of the bread. Slice assembled Cubano into smaller portions so that they will fit inside your largest nonstick pan.
Heat a nonstick pan (or use a panini press if you have one) over medium heat. Add butter and swirl it around in the pan until it melts. Add the sandwiches to hot pan and place a heavy skillet on top. (Adding this weight on top is optional but will help to compress the sandwiches as they cook, like using a panini press.) When the sandwiches are golden brown on the bottom, flip them over and place the second skillet back on top. Continue cooking until the cheese is melted and the sandwiches are golden brown on both sides.
Just before serving, combine shallots with vinegar, mustard (portion for salad), and honey. Add oil while whisking. Toss oranges, avocados, and lettuce in dressing.
Serve sandwiches with salad on the side. Enjoy!