Sunday, January 3, 2010

Open Faced Grilled Veggie Sandwiches

I spent the holidays with my parents and siblings out by the beach in California were I grew up. One day after a rousing game if boccie ball we were hankering for something to eat, to be more specific something healthy after all the chocolate we consumed days earlier. So with my mother's inspiration I rummaged through the kitchen and found a nice assortment of veggies, some whole wheat sourdough bread, pesto, pomegranate vinegar, honey, olive oil, baby greens and sharp cheddar cheese. I set to work and make these tasty sandwiches and a yummy vinaigrette to knock their socks off! Even my youngest brother, who considers many veggie combinations unsuitable for consumption, wolfed it down. My other brother asked me for the recipe. Recipe? Uh, right. I thought I should write it down before I forget.

4 slices country style whole wheat (or regular) sourdough bread
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 medium onion thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small red bell pepper thinly sliced
1 small zucchini thinly sliced lengthwise
salt and pepper to taste
store-bought jarred basil pesto
1/4 ish cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 bag baby greens such as spring mix or baby romaine
Vinaigrette for serving (see recipe below).

Set oven to broil. Set the top rack in the middle of your oven. Cover a baking sheet with foil. Place the sourdough bread slices on the baking sheet. Set aside.

In a large skillet over medium heat melt one tablespoon butter. Add the onions and saute until onions are lightly browned and soft about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile broil the bread under the broiler for approximately 2 minutes, remove promptly.

When onion are done add the garlic and remaining vegetables, season with salt and pepper and saute until the veggies are tender but not mushy, 2-4 minutes.

Turn the toasted bread over (the underside will be un-toasted). Spread each slice of bread with a thin layer of pesto. Top with the sauteed veggies and sprinkle with cheese. Return sandwiches to oven and broil until cheese is barley melted (do not over cook!). Serve warm with mixed greens tossed with vinaigrette.

1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon good tasting vinegar (such as balsamic or pomegranate)
3 tablespoons olive oil
dash of coarse salt
freshly cracked pepper

Combine the honey, vinegar and salt. Whisk the olive oil into the honey and vinegar in a slow stream and continue whisking until emulsified. Toss vinaigrette with mixed greens of choice. Garnish salad with freshly cracked pepper.