Hold on to Summer

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by A Couple Cooks

This Mediterranean tomato & grilled eggplant stacked sandwich with savory olive tapenade and basil pesto is a fresh, delicious vegetarian sandwich that’s quick and easy to make!

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It’s summer, you’re busy, and it’s hot, right? These times call for simple to prepare summer fare, which is where this stacked sandwich comes in! This tomato and grilled eggplant stacked sandwich is the first recipe that we’re sharing inspired by our summer vacation to the Mediterranean, and it tastes just like our travels. Many times during the day, we’d grab a sandwich from an Italian or Spanish sandwich shop. Especially in Italy, there were lots of tomatoes and eggplant sandwiches. We created our stacked sandwich especially for Village Farms and it features their juicy Sinfully Sweet Campari® tomatoes alongside smoky grilled eggplant, creamy fresh mozzarella, basil pesto, and our secret ingredient: olive spread. A stacked sandwich looks impressive without the fuss, which makes it a great option for concerts in the park and beach blanket picnics. Don’t forget the wine (or the frosé)! Keep reading for the recipe.

Tomato & Grilled Eggplant Stacked Sandwich Recipe 

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How to make a simple vegetarian stacked sandwich

Even with something as simple as a sandwich, it can become complex the more components you add. Since we wanted these vegetarian sandwiches to be as easy as possible, we chose each component carefully. A stacked sandwich can’t just look good: it’s got to taste amazing, too! The key is in the ingredient quality: do not skimp on this one. Here are the secrets on how to make our stacked sandwich:

Ripe tomatoes: In this recipe, we’re highlighting greenhouse grown Village Farms Sinfully Sweet Campari® tomatoes. These are hydroponic tomatoes grown in a way that’s gentle on the Earth and it makes a flavor that’s truly garden fresh (Alex and I are consistently impressed by the flavor of Village Farms!). The Campari tomato is cocktail-sized, basically a large cherry tomato.

Grilled eggplant: We used a grill to grill up our eggplant, but you can also use a grill pan or even bake it.

Basil pesto: What is summer without pesto? For a quick prep, we used a purchased pesto, but you can make it at home too.

Olive spread (tapenade): The “secret” ingredient here is olive spread, also called tapenade. You should be able to find several varieties of an olive spread or tapenade at your local grocery. If not, we have a killer recipe for homemade Kalamata Olive Tapenade.

Good bread: Here we used what our grocery store called an artisan hoagie; you can really use any type of bread. Just make sure it’s high quality!

For a low carb version of this stacked sandwich: forgo the bread and use the grilled eggplant as the stacking base, which makes a great presentation over greens as well.
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Tips for grilling vegetables

We love throwing summer vegetables on the grill, even tomatoes (including these). Writing a recipe for grilled vegetables is tricky because it depends on their thickness and each grill’s specific model and temperature. The most important thing is to pay attention: cook the vegetables until they are tender but not so soft that they fall apart. We like to use a medium to medium-high heat depending on the vegetable. Grilling vegetables can take anywhere from 8 to 25 minutes, depending on the vegetable. Grill pans can be useful for smaller cut vegetables so they don’t fall through the grates.

This recipe is…

This Sinfully Sweet Campari® tomato and grilled eggplant stacked sandwich are vegetarian and refined sugar-free. For gluten-free, use gluten-free bread. For vegan, you could try without the mozzarella, but we might sub in hummus to bring in a salty, savory component.

 

This post and recipe was created exclusively for Village Farms by A Couple Cooks

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