I really like sandwiches in the summer. They’re light and fresh and just perfect for a hot day. A grilled sandwich, though, is something totally different. We’ve been somewhat successful in our grilling adventures this summer. Unfortunately, there have been some pit falls. It started off strong with these veggie kebabs and then grilling pizza (recipe to come… once we get pictures of a pizza we didn’t totally blacken the bottom of). Those kebabs were a wonderful confidence builder and then when we grilled 2 pizzas successfully and 2 extra crusts for the freezer, it made us feel like grilling rock stars. We can do anything now!
Then we tried to grill pineapple and corn and the coal situation got the best of us. Horrible. Coals are tricky. We couldn’t even make the pineapple HOT! The worst. Since then, we’ve grilled and burned several pizzas, successfully made grilled corn and these grilled veggie sandwiches. Needless to say, every time we have a grilling success, we get a little more confident. We WILL master this process. Failure is not an option with food. Not for us, anyway. Well that’s not exactly true. There are some fails that cause me to say, “never again!” because some things are just. not. worth it. Grilled stuff? So worth it.
Back to the sandwich. I was reluctant about it at first. It was another one of those things that keeps making its way onto each month’s menu plan because it keeps getting scratched. Now that I’ve made it, though, it will be in heavy rotation! Since my zucchini plants got taken over by the notorious stink bugs, I had to replant and won’t be getting my bumper crop of them until around September. But once it starts coming in, I’m making these always. Sorry kids and husbands that hate zucchini, deal with it. It’s much heartier than you might think, so try serving it to your meat-eaters. The balsamic vinegar is the most important condiment here and really makes the sandwich irresistible. We also added tomato because those plants have been successful and we’re eating tomatoes on everything as a result. Yum!
Grilled Vegetable Sandwiches
4 ciabatta rolls or whatever sandwich roll you prefer
2-3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar, plus more for the buns, if desired
3 small zucchini and/or yellow summer squash
1 small red onion (we omitted but I’m sure it would add a great flavor)
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 oz. crumbled feta cheese
- Cut each roll in half and lightly brush each side with olive oil. Set aside. Halve the lemon and brush it with olive oil too. Set aside. You will grill these things toward the end.
- In a small bowl, combine remaining olive oil and vinegar. Cut zucchini lengthwise into very thin slices, about 1/4 inch. Do the same with the onion if using. Brush sliced veggies with oil and vinegar mixture. Season with salt and pepper.
- Heat grill until coals are medium-hot and cook veggies on uncovered rack for 2-3 minutes on each side or until tender. We have a small grill so we had to do this in batches but it worked out fine because we put the finished veggies on a plate covered in foil so they stayed hot.
- During the last 3 minutes of grilling, add the rolls and lemon to the grill, oiled sides down. Grill until they’re starting to slightly charred.
- Assemble sandwich by placing zucchini and onion on rolls, top with tomato if desired, sprinkle feta on top and drizzle with remaining oil and vinegar mixture. This is where we added more vinegar to the buns for some extra tang. Lastly, squeeze juice from grilled lemon and top with other half of grilled bun.
Source: Better Homes and Gardens August 2009