When we make our Garden Zucchini Carpaccio, we sometimes use it as a topping for an impromptu sandwich as well. Since the salad is not very wet, it lends itself perfectly to the bread, and the crunch from the fresh zucchini’s and radishes goes very well with a softer bread without crust.
If you’ve been in San Diego for the past few weeks, you would be wondering where is that glorious San Diego sunshine that we are known for. It’s been nothing but rain and overcast skies and nary a day above 70 degrees. Of course, for our mid-West and East coast friends, you are now reading this with great disdain for our inability to tolerate any temperature below 70. We can’t help it – we are spoiled. In my case though I don’t mind the colder weather as much as I mind what it means for the backyard garden. It is in the decline of production that I see the first signs of the end of summer, and am reminded that I need to get the jackets cleaned before the winter really hits us. The tomatoes have yielded the last of their crop; the cucumbers have given up their valiant fight; the basil plants are beginning to go to seed and the zucchini – that prodigious producer – has finally kicked the bucket. Time to pull up the old plants and start with the winter garden. In the meantime, here’s a sandwich that serves as an ode to summers past: grilled zucchini with parsley-jalapeno paste and roasted tomatoes. We made this in the good old days of summer.
Once again, we had a refrigerator full of leftovers, so we decided to make a few appetizers for a midday snack. There is no great or deep background story, no childhood memories or frustrations. Just a simple appetizer.
Many of the sandwiches on this blog are the result of a specific plan and shopping trip to realize an idea that one or both of us have. I’ll be sitting at work and have an idea that just must be pursued. More often than not, this means I have to make a trip to the grocery store to purchase one of more of the critical component for the dreamed-up sandwich. Other times, a sandwich just sort of emerges from the ingredients on hand- it’s a case of just opening the refrigerator and pantry doors and letting our creativity run wild. In Jamaica, we have a saying for that: “tun yuh han’ an mek fashion”. I won’t bother providing the literal translation, since, as with all languages, much gets lost in that endeavor. I suppose the nearest English equivalent I can find is: ‘necessity is the mother of invention’. Hmm.. even that attempt seems to dilute the essence of this colloquialism.
Anyway, this sandwich was one result of us making fashion by sleight of hand. The ingredients – pugiliese bread, blue cheese and salsa verde left over from the much-mentioned recent wedding @ and zucchini left unused from recent stir fry.
This being winter, we thought we would provide a recipe for a summer garden favorite. And no, we do not find anything incongruous about this. What better time to start dreaming about the goodies of summer than now when the cold seems interminable. Okay, so as people lucky enough to live in San Diego which is as close to weather perfection as it ever gets in the US, we do not really experience winter – at least not of the snowmageddon variety. Anyway, one of the veggies that will reward you with copious production is the zucchini. Two plants can produce enough for a family of four for the growing season. With our limited space, we’ve regretfully stayed away from it. Our rationale – we have a well stocked market within 2 minutes walk of our house and it’s pretty hard to give up tomato space. So since we love zucchini but don’t always have it growing in the garden, we are so happy to be able to purchase was needed.
This little side dish is so simple, tasty and healthy. It is just bursting with flavor that we almost want to do a little dance as we eat it. Yes, it is that good.
Wendie said: “This is the ultimate vegetarian sandwich. I have been threatening to make this for Anders since our recent trip to Denmark inspired us delve more deeply into the world of sandwiches. While I am convinced that Anders’ Y chromosome predisposes him to a love of all things meat, I was convinced that even he would be wooed by the taste of freshly grilled veggies united with homemade tapenade on a lightly toasted roll. What else could you ask for?”
Anders replied: “Meat!”
That’s how our discussions sometimes goes, but Wendie always wins of course. 🙂 This is, however, a great meal. We highly recommend that you take the time to go shopping for tarragon mustard, as it works much better on this sandwich than regular plain mustard. Anders loved this sandwich, so it’s not just for vegetarians.