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As the days get shorter and the evenings start to get that fall chill to them, I’m making an effort to squeeze in every last little bit of grilling that I want to do. These grilled vegetable sandwiches are an old favorite that I had forgotten about until recently. I’m really happy that I remembered them though, because they’re super simple to make and are full of fresh summertime flavors.

These sandwiches were inspired by a lunch that I had years ago at Old Ebbitt Grill in Washington, DC. It was before I really started to get interested in cooking (between work and grad school and planning my wedding I had enough to concentrate on), but I remember making the sandwich for dinner just a few nights later in my tiny little apartment kitchen — it might actually have been the first time I ever tried to recreate a restaurant meal at home! The sandwiches have evolved over the years and my memory of the original has gotten fuzzy – I only remember the portobello, pita, and fresh basil — but they are every bit as delicious as I remember them being.

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My favorite pitas to make these sandwiches on are Joseph’s mini flax, oat bran, and whole wheat pitas. I usually find them by the deli counter, and they’re the perfect size to fit a small to medium portobello. They’re also high in fiber but still nice and soft – I don’t know if I would guess that they were “healthy” if I didn’t know. Of course, you can use any pita bread that you want! If you use full-sized pitas though, I suggest cutting each into two paper-thin rounds and making the sandwich on those. Otherwise the sandwich can get too bready and overpower the fillings.
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You can also make this very easily on an indoor grill/sandwich press (like a George Foreman). Just spray it down with a little oil so the vegetables don’t stick. Since the ingredient can all be found year-round, it’s a great way to bring a little summer flavor to a winter day.
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(Wondering what to serve with these? Sweet potato fries are perfect.)
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Grilled Vegetable and Goat Cheese Pitas

Prep time: 5 minutes, Total time: 20 minutes
Yield: 2 sandwiches

  • 2 Tbs Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbs Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, seeded and quartered
  • 2 Portobello Mushrooms
  • 1 Zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch rounds
  • 4 mini Pita Breads (or 2 larger breads split to form 4 rounds)
  • 2 ounces Goat Cheese
  • 2 Tbs roughly chopped Kalamata Olives (about 8.)
  • Fresh Basil

Preheat grill, grill pan, or sandwich press to high.

Combine the oil and vinegar in a large mixing bowl. Add the peppers, zucchini, and portobellos and stir so that they are well coated. Let sit for 5 minutes.

Remove the red peppers from the marinade and place on the grill, skin-side down. Grill for 10 minutes. Add the zucchini and portobellos to the grill. Grill an additional 5-10 minutes, or until the zucchini and mushrooms are tender and the peppers are soft with a charred skin. Remove vegetables from the grill.

Spread 2 pitas with goat cheese and sprinkle with olives. Add one portobello, 2 pieces of pepper, half the zucchini, and some whole fresh basil to each sandwich. Top with the remaining pitas.

Lower the heat on the grill to medium. Return the sandwiches to the grill and cook for 3-4 minutes — just long enough to warm the bread.

To serve, but each sandwich in half.

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I’m submitting this recipe to Souper Sunday at Kahakai Kitchen.

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