Pan-Grilled Veggie Sandwiches with Spinach, Balsamic, and Ricotta

I am always amazed at how delicious vegetables become when you grill them, even if you grill them indoors on a grill pan. Grilled vegetables are the star of this sandwich, seasoned simply with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic. I substituted spinach for the arugula called for in the original recipe, because it’s what I had on hand. I’m sure that the peppery bite of arugula would be great in this sandwich if you have it, though. I love the ricotta with this sandwich. It becomes seasoned with the balsamic vinegar and some of the juices from the grilled veggies, and provides a bit of creaminess to contrast with the vegetables and crunchy bread. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it!

One year ago: Baked Chicken, Rice, and Black Bean Burritos

Pan-Grilled Veggie Sandwiches with Spinach, Balsamic, and Ricotta

Printable Recipe

Makes 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 small zucchini, sliced lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 2 small yellow squashes, sliced lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 2 red onions, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 baguettes, each about 24 inches long (or other sandwich rolls- I used Dutch crunch rolls)
  • 12 ounces part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 bunch spinach or arugula, washed, dried, and stems discarded
  • Balsamic vinegar, to taste
  • 1 small jar roasted red peppers, halved (or 2 red peppers, roasted according to directions below)

Directions:

  1. Brush a large grill pan with olive oil and heat over medium-high heat. Toss zucchini, yellow squash, and onion with olive oil, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook in batches until soft, about 6 to 12 minutes per batch, flipping over halfway through cooking. Wipe down the pan between batches to get rid of burned-on bits.
  2. Preheat broiler. Cut each baguette crosswise into 3 even pieces. Slice pieces lengthwise, but don’t cut all the way through. Place bread, cut side up, on a baking sheet and broil about 4 minutes to toast, checking it often to be sure it doesn’t burn.
  3. Spread a layer of ricotta on the bottom halves of the bread. Sprinkle with some salt. Toss the spinach (or arugula) with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. Place dressed spinach on top of the ricotta, then top with the grilled vegetables and roasted red peppers.

Recipe slightly adapted from Dave Lieberman, via foodnetwork.com

How to roast red peppers:

You can certainly use store-bought jarred roasted red peppers for this sandwich to save a few minutes. If you’d like to make your own, it’s really easy, and I think they taste much better when they’re homemade.

  1. Preheat broiler.
  2. Cut bell peppers in half lengthwise. Remove and discard seeds and membranes. Place pepper halves, skin sides up, on a foil-lined baking sheet. Press down with your hand to slightly flatten the pepper halves. Broil 15 minutes or until blackened. Remove from oven and place pepper halves in a zip-top plastic bag; seal. Let stand 15 minutes. Peel and slice peppers as desired for your recipe.

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Comments

  1. I will be making these tonight!
    Thanks for sharing!
    KR

  2. I’m going to make these sometime, but instead of ricotta cheese I will use homemade pesto. I love vegetarian recipes!

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  1. [...] Sandwiches inspired by Kristine’s Kitchen & Giada De Laurentiis;  Pesto recipe from the cookbook ‘Giada’s Family [...]

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