There's plenty of room for experimentation here. We've used grilled eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers, and onion sandwiched in crusty rolls with a little pesto. Fennel, endive, or mushrooms would make fine vegetable substitutes; sun-dried-tomato or white-bean puree can replace the pesto; or omit the condiment altogether and top the sandwiches with whole fresh basil or mint leaves. You can even change the cooking equipment, using the broiler or a grill pan in lieu of an outdoor grill.
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 teaspoons wine vinegar
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- 1 eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch slices
- 1 zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch slices
- 2 red bell peppers, cut into wedges
- 1 red onion, cut into 1/2-inch slices
- 4 large crusty rolls, split
- 4 tablespoons store-bought or homemade pesto
- 4 leaves romaine lettuce
- 2 tomatoes, sliced
- 1. Light the grill. In a large bowl, combine the oregano, the basil, if using, the salt, black pepper, vinegar, and oil. Add the eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers, and onion and stir to coat. Grill the vegetables in batches, turning once, until lightly browned and tender, 10 to 15 minutes per batch.
- 2. Spread the inside of each roll with 1 tablespoon of the pesto. Sandwich the grilled vegetables, lettuce, and tomatoes in the rolls.
- Wine Recommendation: Alsace pinot blancs are among the most versatile of wines. Soft, nutty, and easy to drink, they partner vegetables, chicken, and fish equally well. And most appropriately for this unpretentious sandwich, they are always inexpensive.
- Notes: Slice zucchini lengthwise for grilling, so that you won't have to contend with all those little rounds of squash threatening to fall through the grate.
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