A recipe from Rachael Ray from the issue of June-July 2008. Posted for ZWT4 Italy. For the portobello, it's not written to slice it. But I guess after it's grilled, we can slice it.
- 1 eggplant, sliced 1/2 inch thick
- 1 zucchini, sliced 1/2 inch thick on an angle
- 1 red bell pepper, quartered lengthwise
- 1 large portabella mushroom cap (read above)
- 1 red onion, sliced 3/4 inch thick
- 1⁄2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 6 ounces Baby Spinach
- 1⁄3 cup pine nuts (a generous handful)
- 2⁄3 cup parmigiano-reggiano cheese, grated (a couple generous handfuls)
- 1 cup giardiniera, store-bought (pickled vegetable salad)
- 1⁄2 cup green olives, pitted
- 1 (8 -9 inch) round crusty Italian bread
- 1⁄4 lb deli-sliced provolone cheese
- Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium-heat. Lightly brush the eggplant, zucchini, bell pepper, portobello (read the description, maybe you have to slice it after it's grilled) and red onion with 1/4 cup of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and grill, turning once, until charred, about 6 minutes.
- Using a food processor, puree the spinach, pine nuts and parmigiano-reggiano; season with salt and pepper. With the machine one, drizzle in the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil. Transfer the pesto to a bowl. Rinse the food processor.
- Using the food processor, pulse the giardiniera and olives into a coarse relish.
- Slice the top quarter off the bread and scoop out the insides. Spread half the pesto on the inside of the bread, layer with half of the grilled vegetables, then spoon the remaining pesto on top. Fill the bread with the remaining vegetables and top with the provolone. Spread the inside of the bread top with the vegetable relish and set into place. Press down firmly, then cut into wedges.
A little prep-intensive and messy to eat, but this sandwich totally delivers on flavor. I realized as I started making the recipe that I had forgotten to buy the spinach for the pesto. Luckily, I had a prepared basil pesto that I had purchased from the refrigerated section of market, and this worked out perfectly (saved some time, too). I agree with the other reviewer that more portabella was needed. Regardless, we really enjoyed this sandwich for lunch today. Thanks! Made for Photo Tag Summer 2013.
Savory, salty, lip-smacking good! If all meatless meals were like this, there'd be a lot more vegetarians! This is one amazing sandwich. It's some work, but the relish and pesto can be prepared in advance. I grilled the veggies on the panini grill and pressed the entire sandwich in the panini maker at the end. You don't need to slice the portabella but do take the cap off. For four sandwiches, I needed four portabella caps, 1/2 eggplant, 1 zucchini and two red peppers. Made for the Italy stop on the Zaar World Tour.