Grilled (fully loaded) Veg Sammie on homemade ciabatta. The only complaint I received about this sandwich…it’s a little too BIG. Ok, I can live with that. Packed with caramelized onions, roasted eggplant, red pepper, portobello mushrooms, zucchini, and house feta – there’s definitely no lack of flavour here! That ciabatta grilled up perfectly soaking up any juices left behind from the caramelized onions. Yum. AND that feta nearly melts in your mouth. Ahh, plant based cheese. This one is crispy, salty, sweet, and smoky.
For the feta recipe, see THE Quinoa Salad. Try the salad too – SO good.
If I being honest, I’m not a huge fan of eggplant. I’ve ordered it at restaurants hoping I would come across a method/use that would change my mind. To say the least, I’m still in search of that perfect ‘method’. I like to salt it prior to cooking as eggplant does contain A LOT of water. However, I’ve been told that it’s not always necessary and depends on the recipe – best when frying; I like to when roasting. If you prefer, you can place the sliced eggplant into a salt bath (16cups water + 1/4cup salt) for a few hours or overnight. Then drain and dry well. Salting helps draw out the bitter liquid eggplant is sometimes now to have – apparently older eggplant is more bitter.
Packed with caramelized onions, roasted eggplant, red pepper, portobello mushrooms, zucchini, and house feta – there’s definitely no lack of flavour here. AND the ciabatta is a must! It soaks up all of that deliciousness perfectly. This one is crisp, salty, sweet, and smoky.
- 1 small eggplant – cut into 1/3inch thick slices
- 1/2 cup pickling salt
- 4 portobello mushrooms – stems removed
- 1/2 med. zucchini – cut into 1/4inch thick slices
- 1 large red bell peppers – halved & cored
- 1 large sweet onion – cut into slices
- 1/2 cup plant based feta
- 2 tbsp plant based butter *more if needed
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- grapeseed oil
- 4 slices ciabatta
Preheat the oven to 450*F.
There are different ways to prepare the eggplant for roasting i.e. salting it. This is just how I did it…lay a towel or paper towel over a baking sheet. Sprinkle over the towel a good helping of the pickling salt. Spread out the sliced eggplant over the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle the tops of the eggplant with the salt. Lay another towel or paper towel over top, and place another baking sheet or flat object on top. If you have an object to apply some pressure, place that on top of the baking sheet. Let the eggplant sit while you prepare the remaining ingredients. *The idea is to sweat out some of the water from the eggplant.
Toss the minced garlic into a bowl and drizzle in about 1tbsp of grapeseed oil. Stir. Cut three thin slits into the top of each mushroom cap. Place the portobello mushrooms into the bowl and gently massage the oil/garlic mixture into the mushrooms. Allow any excess oil to drip off and place the caps onto a baking sheet.
Spritz the remainder of the baking sheet with some oil. Prepare a second baking sheet with oil.
Place the halved peppers and sliced zucchini onto the baking sheet with the mushrooms. Spritz the peppers and sliced zucchini with oil and pop them into the oven.
Remove the eggplant from the salt – you will have to brush or rinse off the salt. If rinsing, just be sure to pat dry after.
Spreading out evenly (no overlapping), place the eggplant slices onto the second baking sheet that was prepared with oil. Place in the oven. *Flip once browning.
Baking times:Eggplant 10-15minsPortobello Mushrooms 10-15minsZucchini 15-20minsPeppers 20-25mins*or until browning
Remove any veggies from the oven once roasted.
*While the veg roasts, cook the onions. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add the butter. Once melted, toss in the sliced onion and salt. Stir well to coat. Continue cooking over medium heat for about 30mins, or until caramelized – golden in colour. Stir frequently. Remove from heat. Scoop out the onions into a bowl and place the skillet back onto the stove (do not wash).
Once the veggies are roasted and cooled. Peel the skins off of the red peppers.
Take two slices of the ciabatta, lay them down flat, and add the veggies in this order…caramelized onions, portobello mushroom cap(s), roasted red pepper, eggplant, zucchini, and feta (tofu). Top with another slice of ciabatta.
Heat the onion skillet over medium heat – add butter if needed. Once up to heat, carefully place the filled sammie onto the skillet. Using a metal spatula, press down on the top of the sammie as it grills. If you have a grill press, you can use that. Once golden-brown (couple mins), flip to grill the other side. *You may need to use your fingers or a fork to help hold things in place when flipping. Repeat with second sammie.
Remove from heat and serve warm.