Let’s Cook! Grilled Veggie Sandwich

May 22, 2011

After making the Baked Sweet Potato Fries recently, seems like we need something to serve them with…

Since at WDW we had them as a side to a veggie sandwich (aka the “Vegetable Subosaurus”) at Restaurantosaurus in Animal Kingdom (see “One potato, two potato…”) and one of my favorite quick-service sandwiches in the World is the Grilled Vegetable Sandwich served at the Backlot Express in the Studios, a semi-healthy Grilled Veggie Sandwich seems in order… so let’s cook!

Grilled Veggie Sandwich

Ingredients

1  Eggplant (the usual purple globe-type will do fine)

1  Zucchini (the bigger the better)

1  Red Bell Pepper

1  Red Onion

The main players

Vinaigrette (your favorite recipe, or see recipe at end – a good bottled one will do just fine too)

Bread (your choice, I used a crusty “5 Grain Italian” Baguette, ciabatta would also be nice)

Provolone Cheese slices (or Mozzarella, or Swiss or a combo)

Sliced Tomatoes

Procedure

Heat your grill to medium – medium-high (it was about 400 degrees on my trusty BGE).

Slice the eggplant, zucchini, and onion into about 1/4″ slices. Cut the pepper sides off into four or five fairly flat pieces.

Making the cut...

When your grill is hot, oil the grate. Brush one side of the veggies with some of the vinaigrette and lay the brushed side down (unless you have a huge grill, you’ll have to cook the veggies in batches). Brush the sides now facing up and allow the veggies to cook until tender. Depending on your grill, it may take 8, 10 or 12 minutes to get them cooked to your liking (the onions and peppers should take a bit longer than the eggplant and zucchini).

Turn the pieces now and then and relocate on the grill as needed (most grills tend to have “hot spots”) until evenly done. Brush with the vinaigrette while cooking.

Cut the bread in half, and brush the cut sides with the vinaigrette and grill the cuts sides quickly until browned.

Bread on the egg...

Now let’s assemble…

"Golden brown and delicious..."

Cover each side of the bread with sliced cheese, then add the veggies and sliced tomatoes as desired…

Press the pieces together and slap that puppy back on the grill!

Turn as needed until the outside is crusty and the cheese is melted…

Slice, open an adult beverage if you so desire (and why wouldn’t you?), and enjoy…

oh yeah, don’t forget the sweet potato fries!

This volume of veggies will easily make four big sandwiches, but don’t worry about having too much of the grilled goodies around, you can easily repurpose them: dice and mix with some of the vinaigrette for a salad, or dice and heat for a nice side dish… or (what I’ll be doing with this batch) dice and add to your favorite marinara and serve over pasta, or…

Okay, so none of this is rocket science… you can use whatever “meaty” veggies you like – yellow squash would work, big portabella mushrooms would be great. If you want it really cheesy, add a layer in the middle (and it would help to “glue” the sandwich together – a big bonus!). Got some freah basil around? Add leaves of that for sure… A slather of grainy mustard on the bread while assembling the sandwich couldn’t hurt either…

If you don’t have a grill, you can use a grill pan on the stovetop or you broiler to cook the veggies. A panini-press would of course work well for the final step, or you could just wrap in foil and stick in a 350 oven for 15-20 minutes.

Here’s a good, basic vinaigrette:

Vinaigrette

Ingredients

1/2 cup  Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

1/4 cup  White Wine (or White Balsamic) Vinegar

1 tsp  Dijon Mustard (or other good mustard)

1/2 tsp  Salt

1/4 tsp cracked Black Pepper

Procedure

Combine the vinegar and mustard in a bowl and whisk in the oil. Stir in the salt and pepper. At this point you can add a bit of herbs if you like (rosemary or oregano would be nice with the veggies) and/or a bit of finely chopped garlic.

Now we’re back to the kitchen… after these healthy veggies I’m thinking some meat might be in order soon…

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