Meatless Monday: Grilled Vegetable and Goat Cheese Sandwiches

Grilling, Main Courses, Meatless, Sandwich, Summer / Monday, July 27th, 2009


This behemoth, double-decker Grilled Vegetable and Goat Cheese Sandwich is yet another recipe from “Emeril at the Grill,” – the “trois” of the ménage a trois that is me, my grill and this book.

Jeff still rules as the Undisputed King of Grilled Meats, but I can put some serious marks on an eggplant.

Since it’s too hot to grill outside during the week, we’ve been reserving Sunday evenings for firing up the grill and cooking as much as we can in advance. Especially since grilled vegetables will keep for about four days in the refrigerator.

That’s four days of vegetables THAT I DON’T HAVE TO COOK that can be added to omelets, pasta, brown rice, couscous, flatbreads, tortillas, pitas, pizzas and, yes, this sandwich. A sandwich that is not unlike stuffing a garden between two pieces of bread. Or three.

It’s a looker.

But besides all the vegetables – eggplant, peppers, red onion, zucchini and squash – this sandwich has two extra, elevating components that make it as good as any I’ve had in a restaurant: a goat cheese spread and a balsamic vinaigrette. The goat cheese is flavored with garlic and fresh basil, forming a magical concoction I’d happily eat with a spoon until I was too large to leave the house without a complex system of levers and pulleys.

And the balsamic vinaigrette is perfectly suited for softening the toasted bread and adding brightness and tang to counter the smokiness of the grilled vegetables.

Unless you’re serving a big group, you’ll have plenty of grilled vegetables for future lunches and/or experimentation. Think “luxury,” not “leftovers.” It’s much easier to throw together a healthy meal quickly when you’ve got all of this produce ready and waiting.

And if I can be healthy and lazy at the same time? Well, that’s living the dream, isn’t it?

Grilled Vegetable and Goat Cheese Sandwich

Adapted from “Emeril at the Grill”

Makes 6 to 8 sandwiches, depending on the size of the ciabatta

  • 1 large globe eggplant, ends trimmed, cut into 1/3″-thick rounds
  • Salt
  • 4 bell peppers of assorted colors
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 medium red onions
  • 1 large zucchini, cut on the diagonal into 1/3″-thick slices
  • 1 large yellow squash, cut on the diagonal into 1/3″-thick slices
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 ounces soft, mild goat cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh basil
  • 1 loaf ciabatta, cut into 1/2″-thick slices
  • Balsamic Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
  1. Preheat a grill to medium-high.
  2. Place the eggplant slices on a wire rack, and sprinkle them lightly with salt on both sides. Set aside until the eggplant begins to “sweat,” about 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, brush all sides of the peppers with some of the olive oil. Grill the peppers, turning them occasionally, until they are blistered and lightly charred on all sides. Place them in a bowl, cover it tightly with a lid (or plastic wrap), and set it aside to steam while you grill the remaining vegetables.
  4. Cut the onions into 1/2″-thick rounds, and then insert toothpicks horizontally through the slices to hold them together on the grill. Pat the eggplant slices dry with paper towels. Brush both sides eggplant, zucchini, squash and red onion slices with the remaining olive oil and place them on a large baking sheet or platter. Season with kosher salt and pepper. Grill the vegetables, in batches if necessary, until they are lightly charred on the edges and nicely marked on both sides, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer the grilled vegetables to a platter and set aside.
  5. Slide the skins off the peppers, and discard the cores and seeds. The peppers should separate into wide strips. Add them to the platter with the other vegetables.
  6. In a small bowl, combine the goat cheese, garlic, extra-virgin olive oil and basil. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Lightly toast the ciabatta slices, either on the grill or in the toaster.
  8. Assemble a sandwich by drizzling some of the vinaigrette over one side of a slice of ciabatta and generously spreading some of the goat cheese mixture over one side of a second slice. Arrange an assortment of grilled vegetables over the vinaigrette-coated slice. Top the vegetables with the second slice of bread, goat cheese side down, and press gently to form the first sandwich. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Serve immediately.

Balsamic Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Whisk the vinegar, olive oil, sugar and garlic in a small bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

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26 thoughts on “Meatless Monday: Grilled Vegetable and Goat Cheese Sandwiches

  1. I love having extras in the fridge. It makes my week so much easier. That is a wow of a sandwich. I don't know if I could even fit it in my mouth, but it looks and sounds delicious!

  2. "Luxury" not "Leftovers" — I am so trying that here with the picky guys who refuse to eat "leftovers," no matter how cleverly I try to disguise them. (I have been known to cheat, however, as I put some pans on the oven, boil some water in a lidded pan and say, "I'm making chicken for chicken salad…." then go off and read my book b/c I already have leftover chicken in the frig I am planning to use the whole time. If you thow some herbs in that water you are boiling, it smells like you are cooking something good. Shh, don't tell.) I love the look of that sandwich…just one question, how do you get that all in your mouth???? Do you un-double decker it? How does one attack such a large sandwich? Maybe you could include a photo of you or Jeff eating this! Step by step maybe…LOL!

  3. This sandwich is absolutely amazing and it is definitely a looker! I am going to try this right away but I think I may add some bacon for a little bit of crunch (for my non-meatless monday). Thanks so much for a great and inspiring recipe.

  4. I am LOVING your meatless Mondays, and I'm not even a vegetarian. I want to have a close personal relationship with that sandwich. Fabulous!

  5. i endeavor to be a healthy sloth, that’s true. that said, i can definitely appreciate any dish that helps me achieve that goal—nicely done.

  6. I really need to get a grill. I'm all for having 4 days of veggies ready-to-go. Your sandwich looks delicious. Goat cheese is always good. YUM.

  7. I've hard really good things about that cookbook. The grill marks on your bread make that whole sandwich look amazing!

  8. YUM! I love Emeril's creations, he never fails to deliver great recipes. I need to grill u some veggies and make this! I LOVE goat cheese!!!!! Beautiful pictures!

  9. As a vegetarian for well over half my life, I can tell you that veg sandwich offerings in restaurants are usually pathetic at best and disgusting at worst. I would be happy eating this in any restaurant! Gorgeous!

  10. This looks heavenly…..
    Lip-smackingly beautiful.
    Gorgeous recipe, too. Everyone's gotta love their grilled veggies, one way or the other.

    Would eat this with pumpkin fries =D

  11. This sandwich is as amazing as it looks. Absolutely delish. I'm looking forward to using the rest of my grilled veggies this week!

  12. This looks delicious! Not really a fan of goat cheese, but I guess substituting it with mozzarella would make this one awesome sandwich. Thanks for sharing!

  13. This sandwich looks delicious. I am anxious to try it. I do not care for goat cheese. Do you think Philadelphia Cream Cheese would be alright mixed with the garlic, olive oil and basil to use with the grilled vegetables?

  14. […] Grilled Vegetable and Goat Cheese Sandwiches from Ezra Pound Cake I grilled a ton of vegetables and we ate them all week long, in sandwiches like this recipes suggests but also in a frittata, on a grilled pizza, and in an egg scramble. It took awhile to grill all the vegetables, but it made dinner a breeze the rest of the week. Dave opted for chipotle mayo and cheddar cheese on his sandwiches rather than goat cheese. […]

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