Grilled Vegetable Sandwiches have been a “go to” recipe in our family for years now. The basics of it originate from the book In the Kitchen With Rosie published back in 1994. Rosie is the spa chef that Oprah hired to cook for her at home several diets ago. This is one of those books that I use sometimes for specific recipes, sometimes for lower fat cooking methods in general, and sometimes for a good laugh. I firmly believe that there are some foods that just need to be enjoyed in their full fat version, then we just adapt from there with other light meals during the week or enjoying smaller portions. Somehow many people find those concepts way out there, hence the spa cuisine. Ha!
Below is my adaptation, based on what I tend to have in the fridge and the veggies currently available during the summer. The tomato and lettuce can be omitted, and I just include them when the mood strikes me right. But the basil … that is a must!
Don’t let the long list of ingredients frighten you away. This is a really simple meal! Just toss the dressing ingredients in a blender, and that is done. Slice and grill veggies with a bit of spice, and that is done. Just assemble the sandwiches from there and enjoy! Warning: these are gooey, veggies smooshing out of the sides, drippy sandwiches! Mmmmmmmmmmm.
1/4 cup mayo
1/2 cup light sour cream
3 TBS dijon mustard
1/8 tsp Crystal sauce (or Tobasco)
2 green onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 tsp lemon juice
1 small eggplant, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
1 yellow squash, sliced lenthwise into 1/4 inch strips
1 zucchini, sliced lenthwise into 1/4 inch strips
1 red onion, trimmed and cut into 1/4 inch rounds
3 tsp Italian seasoning (or just some basil / oregano if that is what’s handy)
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
2 bell peppers, roasted and skins removed, sliced into strips
1 french bread baguette
1 tomato, cored and sliced (optional)
8 fresh basil leaves
8 arugula leaves, or other mixed green leaves
2 TBS jalapeño, sliced
black pepper to taste
1. Put all ingredients in a blender or food processor, and mix at low speed until smooth. The dressing will be a bit thin, but don’t worry.
1. To each of the eggplant, squash, zucchini, and onion slices, add a bit of oil to each side and dust lightly with Italian seasonings and cayenne pepper. Grill on a hot grill, about 3 minutes per side. These veggies should look a little black around the edges. Trust me, this is good.
2. Cut 1 inch off each end of the baguette. Slice it lengthwise so that the sides remain connected, then cut into 4 portions. Open the baguette and use your fingers to scoop out most of the bread. Grill lightly.
3. Assemble sandwiches by pouring dressing on the top and bottom of each baguette, they layering on the roasted vegetables, tomato, basil, arugula and jalapeño.