When I was in the 7th grade, I decided I was going to become a vegetarian and held to this position until I was a freshman in college. At the time, vegetarianism was still mostly on the outskirts of the norm which meant my food options were often less than desirable.
I'll admit, I also wasn't a very studious vegetarian. Sure I got some cookbooks and tried to educate myself on what to eat but I figured that cutting out meat was being healthy enough, even if that meant I was sustaining myself mostly on American cheese & potato roll sandwiches.
Ah, yes - the vegetarian sandwich. Not surprisingly, I ate a lot of sad vegetarian sandwiches during this time. Bland, raw vegetables put on top of bread and a few slices of cheese was usually what I got. And at no time did I miss a good sandwich more than summertime when a perfectly constructed sandwich is the key to a successful day at the beach.
But this sandwich..this is the sandwich I should have been eating all those years ago. Filled with creamy goat cheese and perfectly grilled vegetables all between two slices of sourdough bread, it's simple yet so satisfying.
Instead of plain goat cheese, this sandwich features the Garlic & Herb Chèvre from Mackenzie Creamery. Their chèvre (goat cheese) are so wonderfully crafted on their farm in Ohio and I love their story about how their owner turned her passion for cheese making into a full time business. The artisan quality of their cheese is evident in every bite and I love how much fun they have with the flavors of their cheeses. The hints of chives, garlic and early goat cheese in the Garlic & Herb Chèvre are the perfect complement to the grilled vegetables in this not-sad vegetarian sandwich
Now about these grilled vegetables. I'm going to make a bold statement and say these may be some of the best grilled vegetables you've ever had. Not kidding. While they go perfectly with the creamy goat cheese in this sandwich, they would be just as good all on their own. In fact, I recently served them as a side at my sister's 30th birthday party. The next day my mother called insisting for the recipe and so here it is. The secret, I believe is blending up a red onion as part of the marinade, ensuring every bit and piece of the vegetable is bursting with flavor. I also particularly like the addition of red wine vinegar in the marinade to help balance the vegetable's sweetness.
So as I pack up for what will be my first day at the beach this summer, I'm making sure to bring this sandwich along with me. Do you have any particular type of sandwich or food you like to pack in your #beachbageats ? Let me know in the comments!
Grilled Vegetable Sandwich with Garlic & Herb Chèvre
Time: 20 Minutes Plus 2 Hours Chill Time
1 large red bell pepper, cut into 2" wide strips
1 large zucchini or yellow squash, sliced lengthwise into 1/4" thick slices
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
1 clove garlic
1/2 medium red onion, roughly chopped
1/4 cup parsley, stems removed
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, stems removed
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 ounces Mackenzie Creamery Garlic & Herb Chèvre, lightly softened
4 slices sourdough bread
1. In a food processor or blender, blend together the oil, vinegar, garlic, red onion, parsley, oregano, salt and pepper until well combined and smooth.
2. Place the red pepper and squash in a shallow bowl and cover with the olive oil mixture. Toss to coat evenly. Cover and let rest in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
3. Heat your grill to medium heat (350F). Place the vegetables on the grill and cook 8-10 minutes, flipping once. The vegetables should be slightly charred and tender but not mushy. Remove and let cool for 5 minutes.
4. Brush each side of the bread with olive oil and toast 1-2 minutes per side on the grill or in a toaster oven.
5. To assemble, spread the goat cheese on two slices of the sourdough. Top with the roasted vegetables and the other slices of bread. Enjoy!