Summer is ending. Fall is arriving…slowly, but arriving. We had a couple of evenings recently where we sat on the patio and enjoyed what had the makings of a cool breeze. I think we’ve survived another desert summer! Which is good and bad, because that means summer veggies are going by the wayside. But it also means fall root veggies, key to many comfort foods and soups, will be in abundant supply.
While flipping through a cookbook looking for something entirely different, I came across these grilled veggie sandwiches which sounded (and looked) delicious. My usual cooking routine includes incorporating a meatless meal or two each week. And, since no one has put up too much of a fight, I’m not rocking that boat. These veggie sandwiches were the perfect meatless meal, and made for a tiny celebration of the end of the season by using the last of the summer veggies. For those of you in colder climates, the benefits will be two-fold: enjoying the last of summer vegetables and lighting up the grill one more time – before the lid is frozen shut! Enjoy!!
Grilled Vegetable Sandwiches (recipe courtesy Cooking Light Superfast Suppers, Oxmoor House Publishing)
- 2 Tbsp light mayo
- 1 Tbsp fresh chopped basil
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into eighths
- 1 (1 lb) eggplant, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices
- 1 sweet onion, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices
- 1 zucchini, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices
- Cooking spray
- 4 ciabatta rolls, sliced in half
- 8 oz fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
- Prepare grill.
- Combine mayo and minced basil; cover and chill.
- Combine oil and next 3 ingredients in a large bowl. Add bell pepper, eggplant, onion, and zucchini to dressing mixture;; toss vegetables to coat.
- Place bell pepper and eggplant on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill about 6 minutes. Add onion and zucchini; grill 5 minutes. Turn vegetables often, baste with dressing, and cook just until tender. Remove from grill and keep warm.
- Place bread on grill, cut side down, and grill 2 minutes. Turn bread, cut side up, and place half of cheese slices on bottom half of bread. Grill 1 minute or until cheese begins to melt.
- Spread mayo mixture over top half of bread. Top bottom half with vegetables, remaining cheese slices, and top half of bread.
- Serve immediately.
***Cook’s Notes: I used a grill basket for the veggies, which made worries about losing vegetables through the grill grates a non-issue. Choose a nice, hearty roll. The ciabattas are great because they hold up well to the moisture from the dressing, grilled veggies, and melted cheese. Also, I came across this little gem while working on the post; the website for the book Simply in Season, which offers a fruit and vegetable guide for tips on how to choose, store, prepare, and use selected fruits and vegetables. Good stuff!