Pesto and Grilled Veggie Sandwich

Tidbits:

I’m not typically one who enjoys sandwiches for dinner, but this is an exception for me. It looks complicated but was really easy (took about 25 minutes for the whole thing) I got the main idea of this recipe from here. On the side I had some baked sweet potato fries  with pink dipping sauce found here.

Note: For the pesto, you can use store-bought. This pesto recipe was also used here and here.

Ingredients:

Pesto

1/2 cup part skim ricotta (non-fat won’t be very flavorful)

1-2 oz of fresh basil leaves (start with 1, add more if you prefer)

4 cloves of garlic

2 tbsp parmesan cheese

1/2 tsp salt

Fresh ground pepper

Sandwich (yields 3)

3 small  square Ciabatta rolls (approximately 3×3  inches). Other “sturdy” breads might work also, but I haven’t tried them.

2 Tbsp Olive Oil

Dried basil (optional)

1 large or 2 medium zucchinis (or zucchini and squash), sliced (I cut it in half through the diameter so that I have 2 cylinders, and then cut into 1/4 inch slices)

1/2 onion, sliced into 1/2 inch rings

2 plum tomatoes (I prefer these because they are less watery)

1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese (not from the shaker)(could probably substitute shredded mozzarella if that’s what you have, but I like the saltiness of the parmesan)

Salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Assemble the pesto ingredients in food processor and blend until smooth. Adjust seasoning if needed
  2. Add oil to heated grill pan.
  3. Add zucchini to the grill pan and season with salt, pepper, and a dash of dried basil (you can leave out the basil or replace it with something like oregano or Italian seasoning). After about 1:30-2:00 minutes, flip over (there should be light char marks). Season as before, and cook for about 1:00 – 1:30 minutes or until the zucchini is soft, but not mushy. Set zucchini aside.
  4. Repeat grilling process for onions (they will take a little less time).
  5. While preparing the bottom half of the sandwich, place top half of the buns open side down on the grill pan (heat turned off), just to warm them.
  6. Spread 1 tbsp of pesto on the bottom bun.
  7. Take the bottom bun and layer the zucchini (4-5 slices), tomato (3-4 slices), and onion on each bun.
  8. Top with parmesan cheese. Don’t add the top of the bun yet.
  9. Place the sandwich without the top bun under broiler for 3-4  minutes (keep an eye on it because your food can go from yum! to yikes! In a matter of seconds. Meanwhile, spread 1 tbsp pesto on the top bun.
  10. Remove from oven and place the top of the bun on the sandwich. If I have extra basil left over, I place a whole leaf on top of the sandwich also.

Note: This method your sandwich will be warm. If you prefer it hot, then before broiling, heat the sandwich at 375 for approximately 5 minutes.

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