Friday, January 09, 2015

Building a Perfect Vegetarian Sandwich

Roasted vegetables to begin: red onions, grape tomatoes, long hot chili peppers and eggplant. Feel free to use a variety of vegetables for this sandwich, any non-starch veggies will work. Bell peppers of all colors, zucchini, yellow squash and endive are particularly good.

When roasting onions for a sandwich or salad, cook until soft and sweet but not to the point of browning. Deep caramelized onions will overpower the more subtle flavors of veggies like eggplant or summer squash.

There's always a few wrinkling grape or cherry tomatoes lingering on the kitchen counters at Cafe Drake HRV. As long as they haven't spoiled, old and tired tomatoes - cherry, plum etc -  are perfect for roasting.

Eggplant slices, roasted for 20-25 minutes in a 400 degree F. oven, are the veggie stars of this sandwich. Chewy, dense, with a texture and earthiness almost meat-like, the eggplant is merely tossed with olive oil and salt prior to hitting the oven. Broiling works as well as baking but the slices will need to be flipped a couple of times to prevent scorching.

Cover lightly both sides of bread with your favorite melting cheese. Above, we used large slices of whole wheat Italian bread and Comte cheese. Toast in a 350 degree F. oven until the bread is crisp and the cheese melted.

Add roasted veggies to both sides of bread and quickly put together, pressing down to seal the sandwich closed.

Our roasted vegetable and cheese sandwich, with walnuts and a salad of spinach and pickled radishes.

Leftovers became an open-faced sandwich, enjoyed with soup and salad.

Don't you want some of this??

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