You guys, I am so ready for fall.
I always feel this way this time of year, but for some reason, it’s hitting me HARD this year. I know I sound like a broken record, but it’s an all-consuming focus at the moment.
Don’t get me wrong, I loooove summer and will be sad when it’s over, but I’m so looking forward to a change in the weather and to make and eat cozy foods and decorate with all the autumnal leaves and pumpkins. I’m just READY.
As much as I love fall recipes and flavors, one thing I’m always sad to see go is the summer produce. All the delicious stone fruit, corn, fresh basil, and juicy tomatoes. It is so, so sad to see those things go. I especially love big platters of grilled veggies in the summer time. It’s something my dad has always specialized in, and it’s something we request all the time at summer family gatherings. He has perfected the grilled veggie!
I am taking a stab at the grilled veg with these sandwiches. I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited for a vegetarian, mostly vegetable-based sandwich. Really. This is goooood. Even my meat-and-potatoes husband declared these to be delicious.
I have a sneaking suspicion that the whipped red pepper feta that gets slathered on the rolls miiiight have something to do with it. Talk about FLAVOR. Holy moly. It is so good. This is not my first foray into whipped feta; it’s a regular occurrence in our household. But this version? Well, it might just be my new fave.
It starts by roasting a red pepper from scratch (which is much easier than you might think). I highly recommend that you do it yourself, as the jarred peppers often have other flavors added in that might affect the overall flavor or texture of the feta. A lot of stores are now selling fresh roasted peppers that are not preserved in anything – look for them in the antipasti section. The roasted pepper adds a smoky flavor and some nice balancing sweetness to an otherwise super savory spread.
Also? The recipe below makes more than you will need for these sandwiches, which means you’ll have leftover whipped feta to eat with crackers and raw veggies. That’s exactly what I did with the leftovers, and let’s just say this: I was one happy camper. It is a wonderful snack to have on hand.
These sandwiches come together somewhat quickly, too. Once you’ve got the whipped feta made (which you can do ahead), all that you need to do is grill the actual veggies. I did a mix of bell peppers, zucchini, baby eggplant, and red onion. You could swap in any veggie that you like! Toss the veg with a little oil and salt and pepper (as simple as it gets!), and grill them for a few minutes until they charred and softened and glorious.
I like to pile the veggies high on toasted pretzel rolls, but you can use whatever bread you like. Dan and I ate these as open-face sandwiches one night, and that was also fabulous. I could see this combo of ingredients piled on a toasty baguette or even a soft brioche roll. Really, any carb you fancy will work.
Just make sure that you slather (and I mean SLATHER) the carb of choice with a thick layer of the whipped red pepper feta. You guys, it’s everything. It adds richness and a creamy element to the sandwich that is much needed. I also like to add a handful of greens and some slices of avocado to my sandwich. It makes it feel like a real meal. I don’t know about you, but avocado always fills me up for a long time.
I highly recommend you make these while the summer produce is still going strong! They are the perfect vegetarian meal for late summer evenings!
These vegetarian grilled veggie sandwiches are made special with the addition of homemade whipped roasted red pepper feta! Pile pretzel rolls high with veggies and a slather of the feta and you’ve got yourself an amazing and hearty vegetarian meal.
For the Red Pepper Feta:
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 (8-oz) block of cream cheese, softened
- 6 oz feta cheese
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- Salt and pepper, to taste
For the Sandwiches:
- 2–3 bell peppers, any color, seeded and cut into quarters
- 2 small zucchini, sliced
- 2 small eggplants, sliced
- 1 large red onion, cut into ½-inch thick rings
- 2–3 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 2 avocados, thinly sliced
- Baby greens or microgreens
- Pretzel buns (or other rolls/buns that you prefer), toasted
For the Red Pepper Feta:
- Hold the pepper in heat-safe tongs and place it directly on your stovetop grate if you have a gas stove. Turn on the burner to medium-high and char the outside of the pepper, rotating it every few seconds to get an even char on all sides. Alternatively, you can do this same process under the broiler in the oven – just make sure to watch it carefully.
- One the pepper is toasted and charred and starting to soften, place it in a bowl and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Allow the pepper to sit for at least 5 minutes so that is can steam in the bowl.
- Remove the charred skin, core, and seeds. Chop the roasted pepper into chunks and add it to the bowl of a food processor.
- Pulse the machine a few times to chop up the pepper. Add the other ingredients for the feta spread into the food processor and pulse a few times to combine. Then, run the machine for 30 seconds or so, pausing to scrape down the sides, or until the feta is creamy and fluffy and smooth. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
- This can be done ahead; keep the red pepper feta in an airtight container in the fridge. It’s awesome as a sandwich spread or as a dip for veggies/crackers.
For the Sandwiches:
- Preheat the grill to medium-high (you can also use an indoor grill pan).
- Place all the sliced veggies in a large bowl and toss with a few tablespoons of olive oil and a few pinches of salt and pepper. Toss to evenly coat.
- Grill the veggies on the hot grill, for about 2-3 minutes per side. You want char and grill marks and for the veggies to soften.
- Remove from the grill and allow to cool slightly before handling.
- To assemble the sandwiches, toast your rolls and then generously spread on the whipped red pepper feta. Layer on as many of the veggies as you like. Top with a handful of greens and some sliced avocado. Top with the other half of the rolls and serve.
You can make this with any combination of veggies that you like. Thick slices of summer tomato would be wonderful here. Or if making this during another season, slices of squash or some roasted brussels sprouts would be delicious.
- Category: sandwiches
Keywords: grilled veggies, grilled vegetables, grilled veggie sandwich, whipped feta, whipped feta dip, whipped feta recipe, roasted red pepper feta dip, roasted red pepper dip, roasted red peppers, vegetarian sandwiches, vegetarian recipes