Sandwiches can be fabulous vehicles for repurposing leftovers — the roasted vegetables from last night’s dinner, plus a little cheese, pickles from a jar, and a condiment made from the weekend’s salsa. Or they can be as from-scratch as you dare, based on a new round of roasting, braising or stir-frying, plus a DIY aioli, homemade pickles or even your own freshly baked bread.
In between is a sandwich like this Mexican torta from Christopher Kimball’s new book, “Milk Street Tuesday Nights.” You lightly toast store-bought kaiser rolls, mash and season avocado to slather on one side of the rolls, refry some canned pinto beans for the other and stir-fry mushrooms, poblano chiles and onions to go in between. Chopped pickled jalapeños and some of their juice add acid to the refried beans, and slices of pepper jack cheese add richness plus another hit of spice and tartness.
It’s a winning combination, a generously stuffed sandwich with one of the best qualities of all: It doesn’t taste as if it came together as quickly as it did. I won’t tell if you won’t.