This time of year, I’m all about cooking my meals out on the grill. It’s quick, easy, and helps to keep my house cool on warm summer nights. And everything from the grill just seems to taste so much better than food prepared indoors.
Unfortunately, sometimes I find that vegetarians get the short end of the stick when it comes to grill-ables. Cookout menus often tend to be heavily focused on the meat selections, and the vegetarians are left to gamble on either some pre-formed (and possibly still partially frozen!) burger patties or tofu dogs.
Call me crazy, but I think vegetable sandwiches should actually contain vegetables. So I’m here to give a much needed face-lift to our vegetarian grilling options. I have complete confidence that these grilled sweet potato and vegetable sandwiches will be a big hit with everyone at your next summer party!
The main component of these grilled vegetable sandwiches are the sweet potato wedges. To ensure they are cooked through in the center and perfectly crisp on the outside, I’ve found that you need to partially cook the sweet potato wedges first in a pot of boiling water before finishing them on the grill. Skipping this step makes it really challenging to get them fully cooked without also being totally burnt on the outside from the grill. So while this is one extra step between you and sandwich nirvana, I think it’s well worth the small investment in time.
In addition to the sweet potatoes, I also packed these sandwiches with grilled zucchini spears and red pepper strips. I like the mix of colors, textures and flavors that this particular combination provides. But you can certainly use whatever wonderful summer vegetables are abundant at the time you make these. Yellow squash, Portobello mushrooms and even grilled green beans would be delicious!
I finished off these grilled sweet potato and vegetable sandwiches with a homemade Greek yogurt and herb sauce. It’s really fresh and fragrant. And it gives these sandwiches just a little bit of tang with each bite. This herb yogurt sauce is also great on black bean burgers. Or use it as a dip for French fries!
For the Herb Yogurt Sauce:
- 1 cup Greek Yogurt
- 1 garlic clove peeled
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves
- 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro leaves
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley leaves
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
For the Sandwiches:
- 2 medium sweet potatoes about 1 ½ lbs
- 2 small-medium zucchini about 1 lb, trimmed
- 1 red bell pepper trimmed and cored
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 8 to p-sliced sandwich rolls
- To make the herb yogurt sauce, add all of the ingredients to the bowl of your food processor with the S-blade attachment. Process until the herbs are finely chopped and the sauce is a light green color. Transfer the sauce to a small container and refrigerate it until you’re ready to use it.
- Cut each sweet potato lengthwise into 8 wedges. Add the wedges to a large pot and cover with cold water. Then cover the pot and bring it to a low boil over medium heat. Cook until the sweet potatoes are tender, but still firm enough to hold their shape, about 5 minutes. Using a pair of tongs, carefully remove the sweet potatoes from the water and place them in a colander to drain.
- Meanwhile, cut the zucchini lengthwise into spears, and cut the red pepper into ½-inch wide strips.
- Preheat your grill to medium-high.
- Spread the drained sweet potato wedges, the zucchini spears and the red pepper strips out onto a large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with the extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle with the salt and black pepper. Arrange all of the the vegetables on your preheated grill and cook for about 2-3 minutes per side. Remove and cover to keep warm.
- Place the sandwich rolls on the grill until they are just warmed through, about 1 minute. Remove and cover to keep warm.
- To serve, spread some of the herb yogurt sauce into each of the sandwich rolls. Add a couple of the grilled sweet potato wedges. Then add some of the grilled zucchini spears and red pepper strips. Serve immediately.