But Sugar is Sweeter

Grilled Vegetable and Sun Dried Tomato Sandwiches

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I first made this last year when my mom came to visit me in Toledo for pre-wedding preparation, and I remember her loving them so much that I wanted to make it again.  Since John isn’t visiting with me this time  (he has summer school), I thought I would try to eat some of the foods that normally he would turn his nose up at – this way I can get my fill, without having to torture him :-).  While he’s never tried these sandwiches, he’s not a big eggplant fan, and it also seems that he  normally prefers meals if there is some meat included.  So these sandwiches seemed like a perfect lunch/dinner option for my solo visit home.   However, after enjoying them so much – I might have to try to convert him.

This is a pretty simple recipe, and it becomes a lot simpler if you don’t worry about measuring everything exactly.  The basic gist is to make a thick marinade with a 2:1 ratio of sun dried tomatos and basil, which becomes the base for the whole sandwich.  You use this marinade to flavor the vegetables, and then you put some of the marinade on the sandwich itself.  I chose to use sun dried tomatoes in oil, because I like to use the flavored olive oil in the recipe – it has a very strong flavor, which can be good or bad depending on your taste.  If you prefer, dry packed sun dried tomatoes can also be used, but you will have to add a little bit more olive oil to the marinade.  Whatever you use, know that the marinade is really what makes this sandwich.

Another great thing about this summery delight  is the variety of summer vegetables it works with.  I personally love roasted red peppers and eggplant, but I think zucchini, portobello mushrooms, yellow squash, or any other summer vegetables would be great.  In addition, I used ciabatta bread here, but a french baguette would also be excellent.  By chopping the roasted vegetables you could even serve this as an open faced appetizer – endless possibilities

Grilled Vegetable and Sun Dried Tomato Sandwiches

Make 4 sandwiches

  • 1 cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed basil, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3-4 T. olive oil
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • 3 red peppers, cleaned and sliced into 2 -3 inch slices
  • 2 small eggplants, sliced  1/4 inch thick
  • 4 ciabatta rolls
  • 6 oz goat cheese
  • spinach leaves for topping (optional)

1. Combine the chopped sun dried tomatoes, basil, garlic, olive oil and salt and pepper in a small dish.
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2. In a large bowl, place the chopped eggplant and red pepper and toss with 2-3 T. of the sun dried tomato mixture.
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3. Heat the grill to medium-high, and begin by grilling the peppers – I put them directly on the grate, but you could also use a grill basket if you prefer.  The peppers will take longer to cook than the eggplant, so cook them for about 5 minutes and then add the eggplant.   Continue to grill all the vegetables for 8-10 additional minutes, flipping half way through.
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4. While the vegetables are grilling, slice the ciabatta rolls in half lengthwise and warm  on the grill until slightly crisped.  Top each with a generous tablespoon of goat cheese, followed by a tablespoon of remaining sun dried tomato mixture.  Feel free to put goat cheese on both sides of the bread (if you are a goat cheese lover like me).

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5. Top each sandwich with 3-4 slices of eggplant and 2 slices of roasted red pepper.  Finish with spinach, if desired.

IMG_0817Inspired by Giada’s Recipe from the Food Network

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One response

  1. Pingback: Chicken Tikka Masala « Spice Is Nice

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