Sunday, April 13, 2008

Roasted Vegetable Sandwiches

Assorted Roasted Veggies
The roasted vegetables make for wonderfully tasty and nutritious sandwiches and wraps especially with homemade Pesto. If you roast a few extra veggies, they can be used to make the delectable Tricolor Pasta with them. Use your favorite breads and cheeses to make the sandwiches. Some of my favorite breads are Chapatis(whole wheat tortillas), ciabatta, sourdough, or French rolls, and lavash. I vary the cheeses each week; Cheddar, Jack, Cream Cheese, Goat Cheese, Feta Cheese and fresh Mozzarella among others - all are delicious :). These make great school lunches along with some crunchy sprout salad or chopped salad and a fresh fruit; I put the pasta, salads or veggie slices in a leak-proof resealable plastic bags and include a fork/spoon. Bon apetit!

In answer to a good question that came up about the use of cheeses in vegetarian cooking: I am a vegetarian too and use the specific cheeses mentioned in this recipe - they are made with only microbial rennet or are totally rennetless (please check the list of ingredients to make sure). Generally creme cheese, goat cheese, yogurt cheese, etc are made without any rennet. Some rennetless cheeses are available at the regular grocery stores and more perhaps at special markets which offer more healthful products such as Trader Joe's, Whole Food, etc.


Roasted Veggies:
Chinese, Japanese, or Italian type Eggplants
Red Bell Peppers
Red Onions
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Coarse Salt
Freshly ground Black Pepper

For Sandwiches:

Your Favorite Breads: Any yeast breads, rolls, whole wheat Chapatis or Tortillas
Pesto, Dijon Mustard or any kind of chutney or Indian pickles to spread on the bread
Feta Cheese, Goat Cheese, Fresh Mozzarella, or Your Favorite Cheese
Fresh Basil, Cilantro, Parsley, Watercress, Arugula leaves, or Fresh Herbs of your choice
Romaine Lettuce, Butter Lettuce, Baby Lettuce Leaves
Additional Salt and Black Pepper to taste


Wash all the vegetables well and dry them. Remove both ends of both zucchinis and eggplants and slice them lengthwise evenly into large, 1/2" thick slices. Cut the bell peppers into quarters, remove stems, seeds and membranes. Cut off the ends of the onions, peel off the skin and slice them into 1/2" thick rounds. (Alternately, chop all the vegetables into small - 1/2" - cubes and proceed as follows.)

Coat the vegetables with a small amount of olive oil (1 or 2 tsp) just enough to coat them and place them on oiled baking sheets; sprinkle lightly with salt and freshly ground pepper. Bake at 400 degrees F for about 10 minutes; turn the vegetables over and bake for about 5 more minutes until soft and lightly browned.

Let cool, remove from the baking sheet and store in a covered container in the fridge until ready to use.

Assembling the Sandwiches: If using slices of bread, toast them if preferred. If using rolls, cut in halves. Spread a little of the Pesto on one side of the bread pieces; add layers of lettuce, herbs, cheese and the roasted veggies as desired. Sprinkle with salt and pepper if desired and cover with another slice of bread and cut in half diagonally. If using chapatis, roll up tightly after filling and cut in half. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap to use in lunch bags. Serve at room temperature with cucumber or carrot slices, sprout salad or chopped salad and fresh fruits or as desired.

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