You want to know my absolutely 100% favorite thing to eat in the summer? And I’m not being dramatic or hyperbolic (SAT words FTW) when I say I could live off this meal easily. It’s the perfect combination of summer with just the right dose of nostalgia. I bite into this dish and suddenly I’m about 7 years old still in my swimsuit from spending the entire day swimming. Or 15 years old sweaty and dirty from a softball game. Ready? Are you on the edge of your seat?
Tomato Sandwiches. If you think this is anticlimactic, then you’ve never had a tomato sandwich. Two slices of perfectly toasted wheat bread, a light schmear of mayo (One of the few times I like this condiment), a thick, juicy slice of tomato fresh from the farmer’s stand near my house and topped with a little salt and pepper. Yes, it sounds like a BLT sandwich minus the B and L but let me tell you, you won’t miss either. And I don’t say that lightly about bacon. A couple of weeks ago, my summertime craving for a tomato sandwich became extremely vocal and I decided to give my childhood favorite a grown-up twist. The result? A packed summer vegetable grilled sandwich with a dairy-free basil cashew aioli. Adulting sometimes has its benefits.
For this sandwich situation, I started with the crustiest bread possible: Ciabatta rolls. Grilled to add some extra chewy crunch and a bit of a smoky flavor, the ciabatta rolls are housing some of the best produce summer has to offer: Mixed greens (Be sure to add arugula for some peppery zip), zucchini, tomato (duh) and some creamy avocado (Leftover from last week’s creamy avocado sauce). Instead of the mayo spread, I used up the last of my fresh basil leaves and a cup of cashews to whip up a vegan basil cashew aioli that’ll have you going, “Mayo who?”
Really, I just am looking for any and every excuse to whip out my mini food processor.
Head to your farmer’s market and stock up on all the best veggies to create this summer vegetable grilled sandwich. Hellooo, sassy desk lunch/couch dinner!
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- 4 Ciabatta rolls
- Olive oil
- 4 cups mixed greens (Try to get arugula for some peppery zip)
- 2 tomatoes, sliced
- 1 large zucchini, sliced into thick slices
- 2 avocados
- ¼ cup cashews, soaked for at least 1 hour
- 2 tbsp almond milk
- ½ lemon, juiced
- ½ cup basil leaves
- Salt + pepper
- Heat grill (or grill pan) until hot. Brush each ciabatta roll half with about a tablespoon of olive oil and place each half oil-side down on the grill. Heat until grill marks appear, about 7- 10 minutes.
- Build your sandwich with mixed greens, tomato and zucchini.
- Soak the cashews for an hour and drain and rinse.
- In a food processor, pulse all ingredients until smooth, scraping down sides as necessary. You can store in the fridge covered for up to 5 days.