Grilled Gruyère-and-Zucchini Sandwiches with Homemade Pesto

zucchini_gruyere

Confession: I’m a vegetarian.  I eat eggs, cheese, chicken broth, and ahi tuna, but no actual meat (besides the raw tuna).  My family grills out a lot, especially in the summer, and sometimes I get sick of the old veggie burger routine (although I’ll never say no to a Morningstar Farms Garden Veggie Burger…so delish).  Tonight was one of those nights, so while the kids I nanny for were at swimming lessons, I looked up some good grilling recipes and found this gem.  Swiss Gruyere, Grilled Zucchini, Pesto, and an English muffin – sounded like perfection to me, and then I saw the wine pairing.  Robert Mondavi’s Fume Blanc!! My favorite wine!!  Just let me tell you, it was amazing, and so easy to throw together.  ENJOY!  You definitely will!!

Adapted from Food and Wine Magazine
(basically, F&W had a smoky pesto and I just made a regular pesto)

1 packed cup basil leaves
1 large garlic clove, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
Salt
One 8-ounce zucchini, cut into 4 lengthwise slices
4 English muffins, preferably Bays, split
4 ounces Gruyère cheese, cut into 8 thin slices

  1. Place basil and garlic into a pestle, and mash it all up.  Add olive oil and mash some more to make the pesto (note: you can also use a food processor). Season the pesto with salt.
  2. Light a grill. Brush the zucchini slices with olive oil and season with salt. Grill over high heat until nicely charred and just tender, about 2 minutes per side. Cut each zucchini slice in half crosswise.
  3. Grill the English muffins, cut side down, over low heat, until just soft, about 30 seconds. Turn and grill until the muffins start to brown, about 1 minute. Spread the cut sides of the muffins with the pesto. Layer 1 slice of cheese, 2 zucchini pieces and 1 more slice of cheese on the bottom halves of each muffin. Close the sandwiches and brush the tops and bottoms with olive oil. Grill the sandwiches over low heat, turning, until they’re crisp on the outside and the cheese is melted, about 4 minutes total. Cut the sandwiches in half and serve right away.
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