May 24, 2009

Grilled Veggie Sandwiches

So happy to say that I love our new Weber grill! Why? It's really sturdy, the propane tank is located inside a cabinet (so the dog can't squeeze under the grill to lick grease off the tank), and it has wide, heavy metal grates.

To "christen" this long awaited hunk of beautiful metal, I prepared a vegetarian meal tonight; rosemary roasted potatoes and grilled veggie sandwiches. They both came out great. I saw a cooking demonstration for the potatoes on America's Test Kitchen, and thought I would try their grilling method, which worked very well!

As for the sandwich, it's a combination of recipes I have used before. Most sandwiches are customized to your liking anyway, so feel free to substitute any veggies or additional seasonings you'd like to add. For a sandwich spread, I wanted something spicier than the usual mustard and mayo, so I used pesto instead. I was lucky to find freshly made pesto at our supermarket deli, and since I only needed a "spoonful", it was pretty inexpensive. As summer gets closer and the basil is up and growing, I'll show you how to make your own and freeze it. I've also read that you can combine pesto with mayo for this recipe, and that would work nicely as well.

So for now, grab a chilled glass of something fun (I have a frosty Blue Moon with a slice of orange). Let's get grillin'.....

Grilled Veggie Sandwiches

1 large loaf of your favorite crusty bread (unsliced/buy whole)
*(I used multi grain batard, fresh baked)
1 medium eggplant (sliced thin, lengthwise)
1 medium zucchini (sliced thin, lengthwise)
1 small vidalia onion (sliced into 1/4" rings)
1 red pepper (halved)
1 green pepper (halved)
1 small, fresh mozzarella ball (sliced thin/seasoned w/dried basil)
1 cup fresh baby spinach
3 tablespoons pesto sauce
1 cup Garlic & Herb Vinaigrette (I like the Good Seasons packet made w/balsamic vinegar/olive oil)

Wash your veggies, slice them up (except for the spinach) and place them on a foil lined cookie sheet. Preheat your grill, and cook the halved peppers first. Brush them with a bit of the vinaigrette, and grill on high heat. Drizzle the rest of the vinaigrette over the remaining veggies on the cookie sheet, then salt and pepper. Flip pieces to coat.

Continue grilling the peppers. Place the eggplant, zucchini and onion evenly spaced on the grill; cook on medium heat. (Foil line your grates if needed to prevent "wandering" veggies). Remove the peppers when evenly charred, then peel blackened skins; slice into strips.

Meanwhile, cut the bread in half, and lightly brush with olive oil. Season the sliced mozzarella with dried basil.

Continue grilling the vegetables until tender and evenly browned. Place in a warm bowl; add the sliced peppers and cover. Grill the bread, face down, until lightly toasted.

Spread both sides of the bread with pesto sauce. Layer the baby spinach on the bottom.
Now add the eggplant and zucchini.
Finish layering with the sliced mozzarella, peppers and onions. Cover sandwich tightly with foil for about 10 minutes.

Rosemary Roasted Potatoes

4 large russet potatoes
2 teaspoons dried rosemary (or mince 1 teaspoon fresh)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon bacon bits (optional)
2 teaspoons grated parmesan cheese
olive oil
kosher salt/pepper

Wash the potatoes, slice in half lengthwise, then cut into halves. Spread potatoes evenly on a microwave safe plate. Microwave on high for 3 minutes. Drizzle with olive oil, add remaining seasonings. Gently mix to coat.

Place in a shaker basket or directly on the grill. Roast until evenly brown, about 10-15 minutes. Place potatoes in a warm dish, and drizzle with a little more olive oil, if desired.

Slice your sandwich and serve with hot, roasted potatoes. Eat outdoors, bring napkins, and another cold beverage of choice. Enjoy your night!


greengirl said...

I will be making this one soon- probably this week. Sounds great! G.

Anonymous said...

I want this the next time I come over to visit! It looks so good. I'll take a Blue Moon too. Just so you know who to invite, this is Anne Marie