This grilled vegetable sandwich is made with a combo of grilled summer veggies, creamy herbed ricotta, toasted ciabatta, and a sweet balsamic glaze, for an easy, satisfying summer main that’s totally vegetarian.
It’s mid-summer and I am soaking it in. Even my numbed-by-pain-killers-broken-wrist can’t dull the memories in my post-week-at-the-beach-where-did-the-humidity-go-summer-lovin-skin. It’s what summer’s all about and I have the tan to prove it. With just 2 more weeks of July we’re narrowing down to the final 2 recipes for FoodieCrush Grilling Month. Break out the ticker tape because this week it’s a parade of a veggies on the grill.
So far this month we’ve sharpened our grilling skills with recipes for Grilled Pork Chops with Spicy Balsamic Grilled Peaches and headed to the sea for a bite of Grilled Swordfish with Smoked Paprika and Herbed Fruit Salsa. This week we’re circling back to dry land and the farmer’s market to take advantage of summer’s opulence.
Too often we get caught in our tried and true methods of steaming, baking and sautéeing when it comes to cooking veggies. But it’s summer, time to shake things up by biking rather than driving, wearing short shorts instead of maxi skirts and smiling extra sweetly at the cute barrista who always gets your name right…just because you know you can.
And when it comes to cooking, it’s time to break out of the expected because it’s summer and the grill is where the flavor. is. at.
Our new Saber Grill delivers a perfectly seared veggie thanks to each of its threeeasily controlled grilling quadrants that deliver super high heat when grilling on high—over 700 degrees with the option to individually turn the heat up, down or off—so the veggies sear instead of steam.
Say yes to tender veggies and so long to the limp and lifeless!
The grill’s infrared technology gives the vegetables a smoky flavor even though no charcoal is used so that the veggies become naturally sweetened in flavor instead of crunchy and charred.
Tips for grilling veggies
Because vegetables have different thicknesses on the inside and out, their grilling times will vary. To have evenly cooked veggies on the grill, use the sear and finish method. Sear your vegetables over high heat, then turn down one side of the grill and move the faster cooking veggies to the cooler part of the grill as the others finish up.
Unlike meats that need to be held to specific internal temperature guidelines, veggies only need a simple eyeballing to tell if the-re done in the middle and can be cooked to your particular preference of al denté to well done.
Chunks of vegetables threaded on a skewer is a pretty traditional veggie on the grill presentation, but going with thin slices or rounds allows for more cooking area a.k.a. more char-grilled flavor to savor. The larger pieces cook and crisp up better and quicker and with just one quick flip of a spatula you’re grilling is done.
While I’ve given you a recipe for vegetables I love on the grill, this is definitely one of those times experimentation is highly encouraged. Mix and match from the list below to create your own grilled veggie showstopper to trot out in the parade.
- Zucchini and summer squash
- Portobello mushrooms
- Bell peppers or poblanos
- Red or sweet Maui onions
- Leafy lettuces like romaine, radicchio or swiss chard
Look at that! Picnic perfect.
About the recipe:
Because of the simplicity of the ingredients for these sandwiches you’ll want to choose a really good, high-quality soft bread or roll, something that melds nicely with the grilled tender vegetables. There’s nothing worse than biting into a grilled veggie sandwich and feeling as if you’ve left one of your front teeth in the piece of sourdough still dangling from your mouth.
I am a big fan of ricotta cheese and using it in this sandwich compliments the veggies to the nth degree. I added chives, basil and parsley with a touch of garlic to flavor mine but any combination of fresh herbs on hand will work. Give fresh dill or rosemary a try.
Pull your sandwich together while the veggies are still warm. Melty, soft ricotta…so good smeared at the corners of your mouth.
Create your own balsamic glaze by bringing 1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar and 2 tablespoons of sugar to a boil in a small saucepan, then reduce to a simmer and cook until reduced by half, for about 20 minutes. Or, purchase a bottle from the grocery store like DeLallo’s Balsamic Glaze or Trader Joe’s offers its own version, too.
Grilled Vegetable Sandwich with Herbed Ricotta
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1 tablespoon each of fresh basil chives and parsley, chopped
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil plus more for drizzling
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 portobello mushroom
- 1 medium zucchini sliced lengthwise
- 1 medium yellow squash sliced lengthwise
- 1/2 medium eggplant sliced into rounds
- 1/2 red onion peeled and sliced into rounds
- 1/2 red bell pepper seeded and sliced in half or quarters
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 loaf ciabatta bread or other soft bread sliced into 6-inch sections and cut in half
- 1/2 cup arugula leaves
- Balsamic glaze
- In a small bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, fresh herbs, garlic clove, 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper and mix until smooth. Set aside.
- Oil the grill grates with paper towels lightly coated with grapeseed or canola oil. Preheat the grill on medium high for 10-15 minutes.
- Drizzle the vegetables with extra virgin olive oil and season with dried oregano and kosher salt and pepper.
- Drizzle some additional olive oil on the cut side of the ciabatta.
- Place the vegetables on the grill and cook undisturbed for 5 minutes. Gently flip veggies with a spatula when veggies start to soften and grill marks develop. Cook for another 5 minutes. Toast the cut sides of the ciabatta. Transfer the veggies and ciabatta to a platter.
- Spread the herbed ricotta mixture on the cut sides of the bread slices. Top the bottom bread slices with layers of grilled vegetables and arugula then drizzle with balsamic glaze.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.
To finish out July’s National Grilling Month, next week we’ll be talking about the www’s most popular protein: Chicken will be on ‘da grill, babae! Catch you and your grilling tongs then.
This post is in partnership with Saber Grills. As always, thank you for reading and supporting companies I partner with, which allows me to create more unique content and recipes for you. This post contains affiliate links. As always, all opinions are my own.