Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Grilled Vegetable Sandwich + Smoked Sun-Dried Tomato Aioli

So, tomorrow is Labor Day, and most everyone you know will be eating BBQ in the form of pork, beef, or chicken. It's time for you to plan ahead. Make a few of these classic vegetarian sandwiches to take along with you to whatever cookout you make be attending -- unless, of course, you thoroughly enjoy eating a plain coleslaw sandwich. If your family is anything like mine, even the avowed meat-eaters are going to be curious to try what you're eating!

Grilled Vegetable Sandwiches + Smoked Sun-Dried Tomato Aioli
(Makes 4)
1 large red pepper (or a jar of roasted red peppers)
1 medium eggplant (in 1-inch slices)
4 large portobello mushrooms (stems trimmed)
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
sea salt and cracked black pepper (to taste)
1 1/2 cups whole-milk mozzarella (shredded)
4 sesame kaiser rolls (toasted)
Smoked Sun-Dried Tomato Aioli
1 large tomato (sliced)
2 cups fresh spinach leaves
Roast the pepper over a high flame on the outdoor grill or your indoor gas burner turning until the skin blackens all over. Allow them to cool and then peel off all the charred skin under running water. Using your hands, pull out the stem and seeds. Divide pepper into quarters and set aside. Simply drizzle the vegetables with the balsamic vinegar and plenty of olive oil. Season each side with salt and pepper. Allow vegetables to soak in the oil and vinegar for about ten minutes. Preheat your grill to high. Grill vegetables (mushrooms gill-side-down) for about 4 minutes per side or until they are nicely marked by the grill grates. The mushrooms may take a little longer. Once you have cooked the underside of the mushroom flip it over and sprinkle the cheese on the gill side of the mushroom caps as they continue to grill in order to melt the cheese. Stack the vegetables: mushroom with the cheese, slice of eggplant (or two), one quarter of the roasted red pepper. Serve on a toasted bun with spinach, tomato, and Sun-Dried Tomato Aioli (recipe follows).
Smoked Sun-Dried Tomato Aioli
1/4 cup smoked sun-dried tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic
zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup mayo
sea salt + cracked black pepper to taste
It's simple -- just blend the tomatoes, garlic, zest, mayo, salt, and pepper until smooth. This is also great on so many other things such as wraps, eggs sandwiches, and tortilla de papas.


  1. This sounds awesome! We're grilling out this weekend so I can test this one!

  2. Awesome. It's basic, but really good. The thing that puts it over the top is the aioli.

  3. This was delicious. It reminded me of the sandwich I get at Fresh Slices. Originally our plans fell through, and we don't have a grill here, but we made it anyway since I had already bought all of the ingredients. Since we cooked it on the stove, we had to slice the mushrooms, but otherwise kept it the same. The marinade was delicious, and any leftover eggplant is great fried by itself! When I made the aioli I couldn't get it smooth, so I had to add some water to thin it out. I don't know if it was my machine, or if I was just ready to eat, but I left it a little chunky. It was also delicious. I have made it many times since for other sandwiches.

    When we were finally able to grill, it was great. We have always thrown veggies on the grill, but nothing fancier than cut and brushed with olive oil. To simply take ten extra minutes to marinate them and then stack them on a good. Overall, this sandwich is very juicy and filling, with tons of flavor. I am looking forward to the many opportunities to make it again this summer!

    All of your recipes sound delicious, I have made some of the others, but I need to make more! I know the cookbook will do well!