This weekend I went to check on my garden and all the squash plants were limp, brown, and crispy. Curse you, vine borers! I was pretty much expecting it to happen though, because a) it happens every year, and b) I had my first actual encounter with vine borers this summer, which I enumerated in detail here and then deleted because maybe writing in gory detail about vine borers isn’t the best way to start a recipe post? Maybe?
But that’s okay because the farmers market is full of crazy summer squash right now. And crazy eggplant! Crazy peppers! Crazy everything! As you might have noticed, I’m a sucker for offbeat and heirloom veggies, so whenever we go to the farmers market, I stock up. I can’t really say that yellow zucchini tastes any different than the green kind, but hey, it’s yellow! Yellow!
If you make this Grilled Veggie Banh Mi sandwich (oh, and you should, because it’s delicious), you can use any veggies you like for it. I used 3 little round speckled eggplant and a skinny white one, the aforementioned yellow zucchini, and a purple bell pepper. But anything works, just as long as it adds up to 1 1/4 pounds. This is adapted from a Cooking Light recipe that I made earlier this summer that used eggplant only–in addition to using a variety of veggies, I also added the extra step of marinating the veggies for a bit.
My favorite part of this recipe, though, is the peanutty spread that goes on the baguette. When I’ve seen vegetarian banh mis in the past, most of them were made with tofu and most of them were made with mayo. Tofu is good, but I am not a fan of mayo! (Unless it’s cashew mayo, of course.) The spread is kind of like peanut sauce in flavor, but it’s less saucy. (But if you do want peanut sauce on a sandwich, I have one like that too!)
We had these with corn-on-the-cob and thick slices of Sugar Baby watermelon. I can’t think of a better dinner for a hot August day. (Even if I didn’t grow the veggies myself!)
Vegetarian banh mi sandwiches made with grilled marinated summer vegetables. Adapted from Cooking Light's Grilled Eggplant Banh Mi Sandwich.
- 2 tbsp. toasted sesame oil
- 2 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp. tamari or soy sauce
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp. thinly sliced green onions
- 1 1/4 lb. assorted vegetables (I used eggplant, zucchini, and bell pepper), cut into 1/4-inch slices
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 c. rice wine vinegar
- 1 1/2 tsp. sugar
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 2 c. shredded carrots
- 1/3 c. creamy peanut butter
- 1/4 c. thinly sliced green onions
- 1 tbsp. grated fresh ginger
- 2 tsp. yellow miso
- 2 tsp. fresh lime juice
- 1 (16-ounce) baguette, halved lengthwise
- 1 small cucumber, thinly sliced
- 1 c. fresh cilantro leaves
- 1 small jalapeño pepper, thinly sliced (optional)
- Whisk together the sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, tamari, and garlic in a large baking dish. Place green onions and vegetables in dish and toss to coat. Marinate for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight in the refrigerator.
- Heat indoor grill to Sear or, if your grill doesn't have a Sear setting, to High. Carefully place marinated veggies on the grill and cook for about 5 minutes on each side, until tender, brushing with extra marinade as they cook. (You can also use an outdoor grill or a grill pan over medium-high heat if you don't have an indoor grill.) Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Preheat oven to 375ºF.
- Whisk together the rice wine vinegar, sugar, and salt in a small bowl. Add the shredded carrots and let the mixture marinate for 15 minutes. Drain off any excess liquid.
- Hollow out the top and bottom of the baguette, leaving a 1-inch thick shell. Place the baguette halves on a baking sheet with the cut sides up and bake until crisp and just beginning to brown, about 5 minutes.
- In another small bowl, combine the peanut butter, green onions, ginger, miso, and lime juice. Spread this mixture onto the bottom half of the baguette. Arrange the grilled veggies on top of this, then the carrots and cucumber, and finally the cilantro and jalapeño slices (if using). Place the top half of the baguette onto the sandwich, then cut into 4 pieces.