July 03, 2016
Fresh Tomatoes, Lunch, Dairy,
Cheese, Mozzarella, Vegetables, Appetizers, Italian, North American, Budget-Friendly, Make-Ahead, One-Bowl Does it!, Small Batch Cooking, Entertaining, Game/Sports Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Ladies Luncheon, Picnic, Potluck, Summer, Weeknight Meals, Oven Bake, Refrigerator, No Eggs, Vegetarian, Herbs, Sandwiches more
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"Something I have been making for years; but, I saw one posted online recently - and remembered, I have never posted my version. This is always popular at picnics, potlucks; or BBQ's. It's also a great sandwich to take on a road trip too - which I do often. It does take a couple of hours at least ... or longer, for the sandwich to PRESS and REST; but, otherwise, it doesn't take very long to prepare. I do take advantage of a store bought or deli pesto; but, you can always make your own too."
Vegetables ... Add the tomatoes, onions, peppers, mushroom slices, and squash to a baking sheet; lined with parchment paper - which is sprayed or brushed with olive oil. Note: I like to group the vegetables on the pan; because, some cook quicker than others. This way, when one of the vegetables are done ... you can remove them easily; without disturbing the other ones. Once the vegetables are on the pan; lightly spray or brush the vegetables with olive oil. Then, season with salt and pepper. You can use a non-stick spray; but, I really suggest olive oil if possible.
Note: An atomizer is a spray bottle/can you can add your own oils too. Just pump the can and spray. They are inexpensive, usually under $15 dollars; and, a great kitchen tool. They also will save you lots of money. I always have one with vegetable oil; and, the other with olive oil.
Bake/Roast ... Bake the vegetables in a 425 degree oven for 12-20 minutes. The tomatoes and mushrooms will be done first; then, the onions, peppers and squash. So, just keep an eye on them. When, they start to get golden brown and tender; remove them from the pan. Transfer to a plate or cutting board to cool. Remember, you want them tender; but, NOT mushy or falling apart - so, just keep an eye on them. Let them all cool before making the sandwich.
Bread ... Cut in the bread in half horizontally; then, if necessary - lightly scoop out some of the bead from each half. Depending on your loaf; you may not have to scoop out too much. This will make room for the filling. Every ciabatta loaf can vary in size and thickness. The one I get from my store; I rarely have to scoop out any bread, because it isn't very thick.
Pesto ... Add the olives to the pesto; and, mix to combine.
Sandwich ... Add the pesto to both the top and bottom bread slices. Then, to the bottom bread slice - add the cheese, tomatoes, onion, mushrooms, peppers, and squash. And, finish with the top bread slice. Basically, I like the cheese on the bottom; but, add them in any order you want.
Then, wrap the sandwich tightly with saran/plastic wrap, then foil; and place on a flat plate or platter. Set a heavy pan (cast iron) on top; along with a of bricks or heavy can. Refrigerate for 6-8 hrs ideally; but, anywhere from 2-12 hours works. The longer the better in my opinion.
Note: If using a store bought pesto; a couple of notes. After adding the olives to the pesto; mix it very well before using; then, use a slotted spoon to add the pesto to the bread. A store brand pesto, usually has a bit more oil than a homemade version. Again, a store brand works fine, just remember these tips - homemade is always better when possible.
Serve and ENJOY! ... Remove the sandwich from the foil and plastic wrap; then, cut, and serve. It's just a delicious sandwich. As mentioned ... it is great for entertaining, potlucks, picnics, road trips; beach day; or, just a nice meatless lunch or dinner. You could even make this gluten free; if need be. And, don't be afraid to change up the vegetables to your liking. I really like the mushrooms; as it adds a nice meaty texture to the sandwich - without any meat. Also, olives in the pesto are a must ... it adds so much flavor.
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