Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Summer Grilled Veggie Sandwich with Kale Pesto



































































Summer Grilled Veggie Sandwich with Kale Basil Pesto
I’m a huge fan of bread stuffed with all kinds of goodness and the sloppier the tastier, and that includes pitas and bean burgers. Now that it’s summer and farmer’s markets are abundant with local vegetables, the temptation to overbuy gets me every time.
But I admit I never let them sit too long to spoil, that means eating lots of salad, using them in juices, grilling them for side dishes and using them in sandwiches, which lately seems to be my favorite. If you have an outdoor grill it takes very little effort, and on a warm summer day being outside flipping veggies while sipping on a glass of wine sounds quite perfect. For the sandwich I made a chunky pesto to slather inside, stacked the veggies and finished with balsamic vinegar. The veggies I used below are just a suggestion to the many possible variations and if you haven’t tried grilled radicchio give it a try, it’s a bitter leaf but once cooked with oil and sea salt the bitterness smoothes out and with the vegetables that sweeten when cooked, it’s a nice balance.

So here’s what I did with my sandwich and I used more veggies than needed for left overs so I’m not going to give out measurements here.

Ingredients for Sandwich
Fresh bread sliced -  gluten free bread for gluten free sandwich

1.Graffiti eggplant or other, make sure they are small, slice them very thin under a ¼ inch, lightly oil one side and add a sprinkle of sea salt.

2. Zucchini sliced under ¼ inch, lightly oil one side and season with sea salt

3. ½ radicchio sliced into sections keeping the leaves attached at the core, look at image,
lightly oil all sides and  sprinkle with sea salt

4. Large sweet onion sliced into rounds ¼ inch thick

Balsamic vinegar to finish


Method for Veggies
1. Fire up the grill until hot at high heat, turn down the heat to medium

2. Add all the veggies oil side on the grill, the eggplant takes a little longer and will look dry but they soften as they cool, taste for doneness.

3. The radicchio cooks in just a couple of minutes – about one minute per side, don’t walk away or they will burn, a little burnt on edges is fine.


Garlic Rubbed Bread
Using a mortar pestle 
Add clove of garlic
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
large pinch sea salt

Method Garlic Bread
Using a mortar pestle, Mash the garlic in the oil and sea salt and lightly coat each side of the bread, grill until toasted on both sides





































Kale Basil Pesto with Walnuts
4 cups kale -  I used curly
Small handful fresh basil
½ cup raw walnuts
4 sun dried tomatoes minced – optional but good
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
¼ tsp sea salt more if needed
Sprinkle cayenne pepper, or a little cracked red pepper

Note about pesto:  Many recipes I see use about ¼ cup oil or more, I use very little for a chunkier pesto, if you want less chunky add additional 1 tbsp of oil until you reach desired consistency, I wouldn’t go over ¼ cup.  If using for pasta then of course you will want it runnier.

Method Pesto
Add the kale and basil to processor and pulse until chopped, add all other ingredients and blend until small chunky bits form, taste for seasoning.

Assemble Sandwich
Spread pesto on bread, top with eggplant, zucchini, onion, sprinkle of balsamic vinegar and finish with radicchio. Slice sandwich in half

Enjoy!

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