As of late, I haven’t been spending a terrible amount of time in the kitchen (which isn’t normal for me). Between looking for a job, working on my running, doing yoga everyday and trying to enjoy this uninterrupted time I have to experience Charleston, I’ve put cooking on the back burner a bit. First world problems, right? Yeah, basically.
This recipe, however, inspired me to spend an hour or so cooking and assembling this awesome sandwich. I came across this one on Pinterest (where else?). There’s just something about a warm, crispy and cheesy pressed sandwich that I cannot deny. Beware: it takes some time to roast the veggies, caramelize the onions and set the sandwich up to be pressed. But it’s totally worth it.
Pressed Goat Cheese and Roasted Veggie Sandwich
Inspired by a beautiful looking sandwich on Serious Eats, this pressed version is great hot or cold. Loaded with roasted veggies and creamy goat cheese, you won’t be able to focus on anything but the scrumptious morsels melting in your mouth.
1 ciabatta or sourdough artisan loaf
1 zucchini, sliced into rounds
1 red pepper, seeded and halved (alternately, you could buy jarred roasted red peppers)
1 small eggplant, sliced
1 small onion, sliced
2 cups spinach
3-4 oz goat cheese
2 TBS olive oil
1 tsp butter
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 and line baking sheet with foil.
Arrange eggplant, zucchini and pepper on sheet, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until done. Pepper will char – once cooled, remove outer skin and slice into strips.
Melt butter in medium fry pan and slowly caramelize onions. Season with salt and pepper. When brown bits build up on the bottom of the pan, add a splash of water to deglaze. Repeat until onions are caramelized, about 10-15 minutes. Use the same pan to lightly sauté the spinach just until wilted. Set aside.
While the veggies are cooking, remove the bread innards from each half. Be careful not to break through the bottom or top. Spread each side with a layer of goat cheese.
When all veggies are done, layer them into the bread, separating every second or third layer with crumbles of goat cheese.
When finished, top sandwich with bread lid and wrap tightly in foil. Place a skillet or other heavy item on top of sandwich and allow to press for 4 hours or overnight (in the refrigerator). I used a large bowl filled with canned goods to press – it worked just fine.
When ready to eat, warm up in the oven or enjoy cold.