Awhile ago, I asked the Foodie’s Arsenal readers to share some ideas for vegetarian sandwiches. See, I really like sandwiches, but so many of them are built around meat, cold cuts, etc that it takes a lot of imagination (for me, at least) to come up with a great sandwich without getting meat involved. Sandwiches are a key asset for quick lunches, long car rides, picnics, hiking — you name it. But since we’re making a strong attempt to have less meat in our diets in an effort to live more simply and healthy, my veggie sandwich inspiration is sometimes lacking. (If you’re in a similar spot, by the way, check out that post– tons of great ideas).
So now that I’m equipped with a few of those great ideas, I’ve wanted to try them out when the opportunity comes up. This is a riff on one of them: the classic and wonderful combination of tomato, basil, and mozzarella. I’ve done that combo on a grilled pizza before, and that success gave me every encouragement I needed to try it on a sandwich. The original idea was a cold sandwich with uncooked sliced tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and basil, but I didn’t have anything but shredded cheese and decided to go a cooked direction instead. The roll was a baguette, because that’s what I’ve been baking lately, but in hindsight such soft ingredients would have done better with a bread or roll that wasn’t so chewy.
Roasted Tomato Sandwich Recipe
2-4 ripe, fresh tomatoes
mozzarella, fresh, sliced or shredded
freshly-picked basil leaves
baguette, soft roll, or sliced bread
Slice your tomatoes evenly, about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Lay in a single layer on a sheet pan, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast at 400°F for 15-20 minutes, or until they are softened and caramelized in places.
Lay the tomatoes out on your roll, several layers deep (they’ll have shrunk and lost liquid from cooking). Top with your cheese of choice, and set under the broiler for a few minutes to melt.
Top with the basil leaves (feel free to chop them if you don’t like biting into the whole leaves), slice the sandwich into portions, and serve!