alex goes to many meetings everyday and they often take place over lunch. he came home from a lunch meeting one day really pissed off. me: did the meeting not go well?
alex: meeting was great - it was the lunch that pissed me off.
me: what did you order?
alex: a vegetable sandwich - when i read the description on the menu it sounded really good - seasoned vegetables covered in cheese. how bad could that be?
me: clearly pretty bad given your mood.
alex: why is it so difficult for resturants to do flavorful vegetarian dishes? you could do so much better.
so i set out to help rememedy his anger over vegetable sandwiches. i got some more information out of him about what was wrong with the sandwich and it was the usually suspects.
- flavorless over-cooked vegetables that tasted like they were steamed
- crappy selection of vegetables
- a greasy SLICE of cheddar cheese on top
- soggy bread
i already knew i could easily improve the first problem- my roasted vegetables rock. the second issue was easy too. the third issue would be taken care of by shredding a couple different cheeses and using the broiler to melt the cheese. the soggy bread i had to think about. i knew i would need to either grill or bake the bread slices to "crunch" them up a bit. i also thought it would be important to put some sort of "moisture barrier" between the bread and the veggies.
my vegetable sandwich is a total winner! the grilling of the bread gives the sandwich a wonderful crunchy base. the hummus or borsin cheese prevent the bread from getting soggy and also lends additional flavor. the roasted vegetables - well - they rock. they are not over done and actually have flavor. last but clearly not least - you can never go wrong with some really good cheese.
alex was all smiles when he took his first bite of this sandwich. it was what he thought the sandwich at the resturant would have been but wasn't. he asks for it for dinner at least once a week. i have done several variations of this sandwich - changing up the vegetables and cheeses. get whatever looks good at the store - be creative. the possibilities are endless.
open faced roasted vegetable sandwich
(roasted vegetable tartine)
created by the picky cook
(you can use whichever vegetables float your boat - here is what i usually use)
cauliflower - cut into 1" chunks
yukon gold potatoes - cut into 1" chunks
carrots - cut into 1" chunks
bell peppers - cut into 1" chunks
zucchini - cut into 1" chunks
summer squash - cut into 1" chunks
cremini mushrooms - sliced
4 cloves garlic - minced
herbs of your choosing (i used thyme)
loaf of good crusty bread
cheeses of your choice (i used smoked mozzarella, fontina and provalone)
hummus or borsin (you choose)
preheat oven to 425 degrees.
on a large baking sheet, toss the vegetables that take the longest to cook (cauliflower, potatoes, carrots, and peppers) with olive oil, salt and pepper.
bake for 20 minutes.
after 20 minutes - toss in thyme, garlic, zucchini, squash and mushrooms. Bake for another 10 - 15 minutes or until all the vegetables are tender.
meanwhile - slice bread into 1/2 inch slices. brush both sides with olive oil. grill bread (i used a grill pan) until golden brown on both sides.
while the bread is still warm spread hummus or boursin on bread.
grate cheeses in a food processor or with a hand grater.
line a baking sheet with foil - turn off the oven and turn on the broiler.
top the bread with roasted vegetables and sprinkle the grated cheese on top of the veggies.
place in oven under broiler and watch carefully. you are looking ot melt the cheese. this should only take a few minutes.
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