I never need an excuse to go to bakery. I might go there to get something for a meal, but I won't leave without a tarte tatin or eclair. In seeking new and different ways to use pesto, I wanted to do something sandwichy. Yes, it's a word! Sandwichy! For this recipe, I bought a crusty loaf of sourdough bread from our local French bakery, and then yellow squash, zucchini, and portabella mushrooms from the grocery store. I had pesto, Parmesan cheese, and an onion on hand. Because roasting is pretty much my default way of preparing vegetables, I thought I'd marinate the veggies in a pesto and olive oil mixture and then throw them in the oven until they got all caramelized and delicious. If you prefer grilling your vegetables, that would work too, of course—I mean, basically the idea is to cook the vegetables before putting them on the sandwich, you know?
These sandwiches are bound to become a weekend staple in our household. Most Saturdays, we swing by the farmers market to pick up fresh veggies and the bakery is on the way home. And on Saturdays, we're usually so busy, the last thing we want to do is spend an hour or two preparing dinner. These sandwiches are easy, fresh, and tasty—does it get any better than that?
- Whisk together pesto and olive oil in a large baking dish. Add vegetables and toss to coat. Let vegetables marinate for 3–4 hours.
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Place vegetables on baking sheet and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 30–35 minutes, or until vegetables are tender and onions are beginning to brown.
- Heat panini grill to medium-high. Top four slices of bread with 2 tablespoons of cheese and then divide roasted veggies evenly among the bread slices. Top each sandwich with another slice of bread and place sandwiches on panini grill. Grill until cheese has melted and bread is crispy, about 10–12 minutes.