Sunday, August 03, 2008
The Perfect Sunday Grilled Veggie Sandwich
Nothing says Sunday better than a good sandwich.
It could well be because sandwiches are deemed as lazy meals. Okay, it probably depends. A lazy sandwich would be a plain picnic ham and processed Kraft cheese one. Or maybe one with peanut butter and jelly.
I'm not slighting these classic combinations, no, believe me, I love my PJs too. But these are indeed easy sandwiches that can be made within mere seconds so the accomplishment one feels can't be that substantial.
Okay, I'm saying this only because I felt like I had accomplished something this weekend. I made lunch for my family today, including dessert (that will come in another post!). Although simple, it just felt good, to feed my loved ones. It's been a while since I actually cooked a meal for my family. Usually it's just a cake or two, or something random hashed up from leftovers.
Today, ah today was something else. I was at Ngee Ann City yesterday and a lovely multigrain loaf beckoned me from the shelves of Swiss Bake. I love their breads and I couldn't resist this beautiful one. I bought the $5.90 loaf with the intention of doing something with it today.
It did not take long for me to figure out what I would use it for. It was quite a natural option. I looked at my dear sister and said, "You know what, tomorrow we shall all have grilled veggie sandwich for lunch, how does that sound?". She nodded her head and I took that as a sign of approval.
So Sunday lunch was settled. All I needed to do was to get the vegetables.
That wasn't a problem because mum offered to buy it from the supermarket after morning mass. I wrote down a list of what to buy the night before. It went something like this:
2 red capsicum, 2 yellow capsicum, 2 egg plant, 2 zucchini, and a pumpkin.
Next, I knew my grilled veggie sandwich wouldn't be complete without a caramelised onion relish.
So at midnight last night, I scooted to the kitchen and sliced up 4 onions thinly, sauteed it with olive oil and seasoned it with some sea salt. I cooked it for a further 20 minutes to caramelise and brown it so all the sweet juicy flavours will come out. After that, I added 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and viola I had a tasty relish that would make my sandwich perfect. I let it cool and then placed it in the fridge.
This is how it looked like:
When morning came, a very excited me started prepping the veggies as soon as my mum came home with the ingredients.
I sliced the eggplant, capsicum, and roasted pumpkin. There wasn't any zucchini because my mum couldn't find any at the supermarket. But it was okay.
Next was the grilling. Okay, for this, you get an aluminium pan (disposable ones are fine), grease it and place the vegetables evenly on the surface. Drizzle olive oil and season with some salt. Grill the vegetables until cooked.
I did mine in various batches:
That's my grilled eggplant. Make sure you don't burn your veggies. You should flip it over once you see the top side turning brown. You want the vegetables grilled nicely, not charred.
For the capsicum, it is best to grill the death of of it. Why? You want a nicely caramelised capsicum that's soft and sweet. Place the vegetable with the skin side facing up and grill until the skin looks black and deathly. You will notice juices oozing out - that's a good thing. Once the skins are all black, remove the pan and proceed to peel off the black charred skins. If you find it difficult, place the capsicum pieces into a paper bag and seal it for a while, after which you can open and continue to peel the skins.
You can use any pumpkin or squash for that matter. I think my mum bought the Japanese kind - the ones with dark green skins. Well I preferred these anyway. I sliced these up and grilled it in the pan as per normal. The result? Sweet soft pumpkins that tasted a bit like sweet potatoes. Lovely.
So you've got all your ingredients ready. Now it's time to assemble your perfect Sunday grilled veggie sandwich.
Oh don't forget to toast your bread before assembling. I think the toasted crunch adds to the whole experience. And please do take your caramelised onion relish out of the fridge, you will need it to make the sandwich extra delicious.
This is easy peasy stuff but I'm just showing you the steps for the heck of it, so enjoy!
Step 1: Spread the relish on the toasted bread:
Step 2: Place the grilled vegetables on top of the relish in any order you want:
Step 3: Take your other piece of toast, place it on top and press down!
And there you have it, a perfect Sunday grilled veggie sandwich that's super easy yet satisfying and of course one that tastes good and is good for you. How about that!
You can use any bread you want but for me, I love the taste of a wholesome multigrain toast with my grilled vegetables.
Perhaps you're not sold on the idea just yet. It is okay. Maybe you could try making it yourself and then you'll change your mind. To me, this is the cheaper alternative to the grilled vegetable sandwich at Cedele. Yes, i first fell in love with the sandwich at Cedele. But it isn't cheap. So I thought I could probably make a similar, if not, better one, and I think I just did. Just ask Dot, she loves Cedele grilled vegetable sandwich as much as I do and she dropped by for lunch and had a taste of my version and thinks that it is on par.
I love Sundays, especially sandwiches on Sundays.
Right now I'm toying with the idea of making Sunday sandwiches a weekly affair.
It'll be lots of fun and I am sure my family will be very happy.
Till next Sunday then. If you have a perfect sandwich combination of your own, do feel free to share it with me!