Tag Archive | vegetarian sandwich

Grilled Vegetable Wrap

 

Roasted Vegetable Wrap

I know it’s not the season to be barbecuing, but I have been craving a good grilled vegetable sandwich for some time and since the weather was unseasonably warm on boxing day (in the pluses – do you believe it??), we took full advantage. If you aren’t so lucky in your part of the world, you may roast the vegetables in the oven (red pepper whole and eggplant sliced and roasted on a baking sheet).

I have a few simple rules for making sandwiches: always balance the warm with something cold and fresh, always include something marinaded, and always enhance with a condiment, sauce, or spread of some sort.

I love everything about this sandwich, so many robust flavours that stand out, but meld so beautifully together. The black olive tapenade, roasted red pepper, and parmesan cheese are each bold on their own and in their own right, but team up for an explosion of flavours that are tied together by the creaminess of the eggplant and hint of vinegar from the marinated mushrooms. The Romaine lettuce adds a crispness, lightness, and freshness to these wintry, filling, loud flavours.

Roasted/grilled vegetables take any sandwich from ordinary to extraordinary, but what makes this sandwich extra special is the parmesan cheese. Perhaps its the culture, but my husband always marvels at how I can eat chunks of parmesan cheese on their own or for an even more heavenly treat with thick slices of ciabatta. Parmesan is often used grated and as a taste enhancer, almost like a seasoning. It’s there and you can’t miss it, but usually as a helper, not a main attraction. In this sandwich, it shares the starring role with the grilled eggplant and red pepper. The wrap would be good without the parmesan cheese, but the parmesan just takes it over the top.

If you have never celebrated parmesan like this, go ahead. Get rid of your grater because you are in for a treat!

Serves 2

Ingredients:

 Eggplant, medium, sliced diagonally 1/4-inch thick  1
 Pepper, red, large  1
 Pepper, green, hot  2
 Olive oil
 Salt
 Black pepper
 Lettuce, Romaine, pieces  4
 Cheese, Parmesan, slices  4
 Mushrooms (roasted), marinated (in oil, not vinegar)  16
Black Olive Tapenade:  (makes 5 heaping tablespoons or 1/3 cup)
 Olives, black, pits removed  1 cup
 Olive oil  2 tbsp
 Black pepper  1 turn
 Garlic, clove, sliced  1
 Oregano, fresh, sprig, large  1
 Vinegar, red wine  2 tsp
 Chili flakes  Pinch
 Tortilla wraps, whole wheat  2

1. For the grilled vegetables, slice eggplant diagonally 1/4-inch thick. Brush each slice on both sides with olive oil. Season with salt and black pepper on one side only.

2. Grill eggplant slices 3-4 minutes on each side. Place red and green peppers whole on the bbq and grill until charred on all sides (approximately 3-4 minutes for the green pepper and 8-10 minutes for the red pepper).

3. Place peppers in a small bowl and cover with saran wrap. After they have cooled, remove skins and seeds.

4. For the black olive tapenade, place all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth and all ingredients are well combined approximately 3-4 minutes.

5. To assemble the wrap, lay the wrap flat onto a plate. Spread 1 tbsp of the olive tapenade on one side of the wrap. Follow with, two layers of eggplant slices (6-8 slices depending on the size of the eggplant), 2 pieces of the red pepper (half the red pepper), one green pepper, two leaves of Romaine lettuce, two slices of parmesan cheese, and 8 marinated mushrooms. Fold half the warp over contents and draw that part of the wrap and its contents towards you. Fold in the ends (both sides) and continue to tightly roll the wrap. Repeat with second wrap.

There is enough tapenade to make 4 sandwiches, so you may choose to double the recipe to serve 4 or freeze the additional 3 tablespoons in individual tablespoons for another time. Yum!

 

Mushroom & Kale Melt

Mushroom & Kale Melt

I recently visited Fresco Bistro with colleagues for a holiday lunch and had their open-faced mushroom melt consisting of leeks, baby spinach, portobello, cremini and oyster mushrooms, goat cheese and truffle oil. I rarely go to Italian restaurants, but do enjoy Fresco’s food from time to time and love that it always has a vegetarian option. My only complaint is that the portions seem to be getting smaller…

I’ll admit, I selected this option because it was the only vegetarian sandwich on the menu. I was excited because it is very common for Italians to feature cooked leafy greens in sandwiches, but have to admit that I had my doubts about how exciting this sandwich would actually be. I was pleasantly surprised. The sandwich was delicious, perfectly seasoned and my only complaint was that the portion was modest leaving me wanting more. The upside was that it left room for tiramisu!

So, here it is on my menu plan for the week for two reasons: I had 2 bunches of kale in my fridge from my veggie box delivery and because I couldn’t stop thinking about the flavour combinations.

My husband was not pleased when I forgot to defrost his meat inclusion for this sandwich, but surely went back for the second half… 🙂

Where do I begin with this sandwich other than to say it leaves you wanting more in spite of the fact that it is extremely filling. Mushrooms, kale, and gruyere are robust flavours that stand up to each other, but also work very well together. I am always looking for new ways to eat Kale and apart from Kale chips, which is my absolute favourite way to enjoy Kale, this is a close second. As tempting as it may be, be sure not to overload on the gruyere. I used it sparingly as a binder, to boost the protein content, but mostly as a flavour enhancer and coupled with the little hint of truffle-infused oil, this sandwich is pretty incredible.

Sandwiches have always been a challenge for me, as a vegetarian, but this one is big and bold and it rivals most traditional options. Thank you Fresco Bistro for the thought and consideration you give to creating your vegan/vegetarian options. The restaurant scene, though not fully there, is improving for us vegees. As much as I enjoyed my sandwich at the Bistro, I do prefer it with the kale and gruyere.

Serves 4 (with a side salad or 2 hungry people)

Ingredients:

Olive oil 4-6 tbsp
Mushrooms, oyster/cremini/king, sliced 2 lb
Leeks, chopped 2
Garlic, cloves, minced 4
Rosemary, fresh, chopped 1 tbsp
Salt
Black pepper
Kale, Dino/cavolo nero (not curly) 2 bunches
Gruyere, shredded 150 g
Baguette, multi-seed 1
Truffle-infused olive oil 4 tbsp

1. In a large saute pan, over medium heat, heat olive oil.

2. Add mushrooms and cook until mushrooms release their juices and most of the juices are evaporated.

3. Add leeks, garlic, rosemary, salt and black pepper and continue to cook until mushrooms and leeks are caramelized, approximately 10-15 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, bring a medium pot of water to a boil, season with salt and add kale. Reduce to a rolling simmer and cook for 4 minutes or so until the kale is cooked. Strain the kale and allow to cool. Once cooled, press out any excess water. Chop kale with a knife and set aside.

5. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut baguette into 3 pieces diagonally. Slice 2 pieces in half lengthwise. Reserve third slice for another day. Toast baguette for 5-10 minutes until you reach desired crispness. Remove from oven and drizzle a spoon full of truffle-infused olive oil on each half slice of toasted baguette.

6. To assemble, divide the kale into 4 and top each toasted baguette with the kale. Place a little bit of the grated cheese on top of the kale. Follow with a good serving of the caramelized mushrooms. Finish with another sprinkle of cheese and freshly ground black pepper.

7. Place sandwich halves on a baking sheet in an oven preheated at 375 degrees until cheese is melted, approximately 2-4 minutes.