How do you like your sandwiches? Having never heard or come across an open sandwich, I was quite surprised when the sandwich that I ordered @ Prolific Oven lay in front of me. Grilled and colorful vegetables with the gooey freshly melted cheese made it look very appetizing and to add, it is also low in carb as you lose a slice of bread – now tell me, what is not to like about this sandwich? After this first experience, I usually make the traditional closed sandwich for K and make an open one for me.
How to grill veggies till they get those beautiful marks?
You will need:
Veggies: squash (summer squash, zucchini etc), egg plant, onion
Cut the veggie into thick (1/4″) slices and coat (or brush) both sides with some EVOO. Spread them on the hot (place the grill pan on the stove in medium heat before you start cutting the veggie) grill pan, you should hear the hizzing sound on the pan, if not the pan is not hot enough. Leave it undisturbed for 5 minutes. As much as you are tempted to lift and peek, resist the temptation. Read a book or catch up on news – do anything to distract yourself from the pan 🙂 A technique that helps me is to set a timer, and walk away from the kitchen. After 5 minutes, flip it over and you will see those beautiful grill marks on the veggie. Repeat the same for the other side.
After grilling the veggies, all you need to do is assemble. You can either use foccacia rolls cut into two horizontally or any other bread slice. Toast the bread on the same grill pan for about 2 minutes on each side and then place the cheese (thick slice and preferably mozzarella) on top of the bread. Stack the veggies on top. If you are using tomato, place a fresh slice right on top of mozzarella. Let it cook for a couple more minutes, till the cheese is all gooey. And your dinner is ready!
I haven’t found an easy way to get those grill marks on the bread with an open sandwich. If you are making a closed one, you can try this neat tip that I picked from watching hours of Food Network (Rachel Ray to be specific) instead of investing in a panini press. Place a bread slice on top of the stack of veggies. Place a heavy pan with some weights to weigh the sandwich down. Flip the sandwich and repeat the process to get the marks on both side.