Make it. Eat it. Love it.
As we enter June, grill season is officially upon most of the world. Here in Be’er Sheva it seems to be coming to an end as the temperatures are reaching above 90F. Nights are still nice enough to fire up the coals but unfortunately that wont be lasting very long and so here in southern Israel we try to get in as much BBQ time as possible.
About a year ago my father came to visit me in Israel and since then has been raving about a balsamic vinegar that he gets at the farmers market in Delray Beach, FL. “You could eat it with a spoon, its so good” he would say. “I don’t usually like balsamic but this, this is just the best” he added. For months and months I have been asking him to send me this magical balsamic that I hear so much about and finally one day, the box that I have been waiting for finally arrived. The package included a 4 bottle assortment of his beloved balsamic, Bistro Blends fig balsamic, heirloom balsamic, olive oil with Meyer lemon and rosemary roasted garlic cabernet oil. The balsamic was thick as I poured it out. It coated the spoon like syrup. The barrel aged balsamic vinegar with mission fig puree tasted sweet and delicious as it touched my tongue. I instantly became addicted and wanted to utilize it that night with dinner.
In my last post I shared my recipe for garlic pistachio pesto, and mentioned that I had used it on a chargrilled vegetable sandwich. This is that sandwich. And, I must say it is probably one of the best out there.
Next to slow roasted vegetables, chargrilled vegetables are my favorite and nothing says summer better. This open faced grilled vegetable sandwich is super easy to make and delicious. It’s one of those meals that when you are done eating you look at your empty plate regretting not have taken the time to eat slower. Sun dried tomato bread smothered in garlic pistachio pesto, loaded with eggplant, sweet potato, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, bulgari cheese and drizzled with some of the best balsamic vinegar, it is absolutely perfect for summer grill season whether it be casual get togethers, BBQ’s, poolside lunches or light dinners.
*Bistro Blends balsamic vinegar was a gift from my father and all opinons stated in this post are solely my own.*
Ingredients: (Makes 2 open faced sandwiches)
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons rosemary, chopped
1 cup olive oil
1 eggplant, sliced thin, lengthwise
2 zucchinis, sliced thin, lengthwise
1 sweet potato, sliced thin, lengthwise
4 ounces bulgari cheese
2 tablespoons garlic pistachio pest0, plus more for garnish (recipe found here)
1 sun dried tomato roll (or other hard roll), cut in half
Balsamic vinegar ( I used Bistro Blends heirloom balsamic)
Pre heat oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with foil, set aside.
In a small mixing bowl, combine garlic, rosemary and olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Toss cherry tomatoes with 1/4 cup of olive oil mixture and spread on prepared baking sheet, bake for 30 minutes or until shriveled and browning slightly. Remove from oven and tent with foil to keep warm.
While tomatoes are roasting, coat vegetable slices in remaining olive oil mixture and grill until charred on both sides.
Spread each half of the sun dried tomato roll with garlic pesto and place cut side down on grill and grill until toasted.
Divide chargrilled vegetables between each piece of bread and top with oven roasted tomatoes and crumble bulgari cheese on top.
Drizzle balsamic over each sandwich and dot sandwiches with more pesto if desired.