1 12-inch Loaf of crusty Italian or French bread
1 Zucchini, sliced horizontally into long strips
1 Yellow summer squash, sliced horizontally into long strips
1 Red bell pepper, cut into thick strips
6 Baby portobello mushrooms (cremini), sliced thick
2 Thick slices of red onion, cut in half
4 Slices Mozzarella cheese
3 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese, grated or shaved
1 Handful of micro-greens
3 Tbsp. Basil pesto
2 Tbsp. Patricia and Paul’s Lemon Olive oil
2 Tbsp. Patricia and Paul’s Raspberry Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 Tsp. Dried Oregano
1/2 Tsp. Dried Basil
1/2 Tsp. Kosher salt
1/4 Tsp. Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 Tsp. Calabrian chili flakes
1) Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Spray with cooking oil. When the grill is very hot, but not smoking, begin grilling your veggies. You’ll probably have to do these in batches, so put on one veggie type at a time and grill for a couple of minutes until there are grill marks. Sprinkle each batch lightly with salt. Flip the veggies and grill another couple of minutes. Remove to a platter. Continue until all the veggies have been grilled.
2) Mix the oregano, basil, salt, pepper and chili flakes with the lemon olive oil and raspberry balsamic vinegar in a small jar with a lid. Shake the mix vigorously to combine. Put all the cooked veggies in a large bowl and top with 3 tablespoons of the viniagrette and toss. Taste. Add more dressing if needed and adjust your seasoning if needed.
3) Meanwhile, slice the loaf of bread in half horizontally. On the top half, place the mozzarella slices. On the bottom half of the bread, tear out the middle soft bread to create a well and make room for the vegetables later. Place the two halves of bread under the broiler until golden brown (a couple of minutes). When the bread is toasted and the cheese is all melted and brown in spots, remove from the broiler.
4) Slather the bottom of the bread with the pesto and top with the Parmesan cheese. Begin piling on your grilled and dressed veggies one veggie at a time so you can see the layers. Top with the micro-greens and salt and pepper again.
7) Place the top of the bread on the bottom of the sandwich and cut into two-four pieces. Dig in!
NOTES: If you haven’t tried a grilled veggie sandwich, you don’t know what you are missing. I can tell you that you’ll never miss the meat in this sandwich which is packed with flavor from all the vegetables, lemon olive oil and raspberry balsamic vinegar, herbs and pesto. The sandwich is perfectly seasoned and the bread is toasted for the perfect bite. Did I mention the gooey-gooey mozzarella to tie it all together? This is basically a veg cheese grilled sandwich or as I describe it, an all grown-up grilled cheese with veggies! So good.
Let’s start with the vegetables. You can use any vegetables you like for this sandwich. I picked some of my favorites, but eggplant, grilled tomatoes, some fresh lettuce and or spinach would all be great. Get good grill marks on them when you grill them. While I made this in the house on my grill pan, you certainly could grill these outdoors on a grill. Just make sure the veggies you want to grill are fresh and thick enough to stand up to the grilling, but not so thick as to still be hard when cooked.
As far as I’m concerned, a sandwich all comes down to the bread. For me there is no substitute for a crusty loaf of Italian or French bread. But, if you had to subsitute, a crusty roll or French baguette would work. I wouldn’t try to pile all of this on to two slices of bread. The weight and liquids would just tear through. Get the bread nice and toasted so it has added crunch.
The viniagrette is easy to make and made more delicious with artisanal olive oil and vinegar but before you ask, yes, you could substitute regular olive oil and balsamic vinegar in this recipe and it will be just great. Note that I don’t always have to use all the viniagrette in this recipe and often have some left over. It works great on salads and other sandwiches you might make during the week. Just pop it in the fridge. It will hold for a week.
By the time you grill your veggies and let them sit in the dressing, they are usually at room temperature. Toasting that bread and melting that ooey-gooey mozzarella warms up the whole sandwich so you get one tasty bite. FYI: this sandwich tastes better as it sits so you can make these up, wrap them in tin foil and eat them when you are ready. I’ve also assembled them, wrapped them in foil and put them to the side for hours. Then right before I served them, I heated them in an 350 degree oven for 10 minutes before serving and they were great.
Go ahead and serve these for dinner with a salad. Talk about getting in your 3-5 servings of veggies! You won’t even miss the meat and this is a sandwich your whole family will love. (Even the veggie haters!)
You can purchase the lemon olive oil and raspberry viniagrette at Patricia and Paul.
If you like these flavor combos, try some of my other recipes using lemon and raspberry.
Lemon Brioche French Toast with Whipped Ricotta and Raspberries
Raspberry and Lemon Salad with Crispy Chicken Croutons
Need cocktail inspiration using lemons and raspberries? Try one of these:
French Martini (it uses raspberry liqueur)