pressed roasted vegetable sandwich

roasted vegetable sandwich

The lazy days of summer – are you feeling them yet? The calendar says it’s officially here, but we’re just as busy as ever in my house, with certain things even causing stress, making me count the days until we can leave town for some much needed down time on our favorite beach.

My style of vacation cooking is pretty simple; the only tool I bring along to our rental cottage is my favorite chef’s knife, since the kitchen there is supplied with the major essential – a lobster pot.

pressed roasted vegetable sandwich

Other than seafood just out of the ocean, I can’t wait for all the summer farm produce. All I need is a loaf of great bread for making sandwiches to pack for the day. I don’t know why, but even sitting in a beach chair doing not much of anything, digging my toes into the sand every now and then, makes me really hungry.

But I won’t be spending a whole lot of time planning meals – as always, simplicity is key.

This sandwich can be assembled the night before or in the morning in advance of heading out to the beach or wherever summer takes you. I love the way freshly roasted peppers and eggplants smell and taste, but to make things even easier (and keep the oven off), jarred roasted peppers, marinated tomatoes and roasted vegetables from the prepared food section of the grocery store will make a fine sandwich, too.

brick-pressed vegetable sandwich

pressed roasted vegetable sandwich

pressed roasted vegetable sandwich

Yield: 6 servings

Mix up the filling of this sandwich - try thinly sliced prosciutto, red onion, roasted zucchini or use goat cheese instead of mozzarella.


  • 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 small garlic clove, sliced thin
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Roma or plum tomatoes, quartered and seeded
  • 1 small (about 3 inches diameter) eggplant, sliced into 1/2-inch thick circles
  • 1 loaf ciabatta (I used an 8 x 5 rectangular loaf)
  • 1 yellow or orange bell pepper, roasted, peeled and sliced into wide strips
  • 8 ounce ball of fresh mozzarella, sliced ¼-inch thick
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. To make the pesto, put the basil, pine nuts, cheese, garlic and salt in a food processor; pulse until finely chopped. Slowly add 1/3 cup olive oil while the machine is running; scrape down the bowl and add 1 or 2 tablespoons more oil if needed, until pesto is creamy and blended.
  2. Place a large rimmed baking sheet on middle oven rack and heat to 425 degrees. When the oven has reached temperature, remove the hot baking sheet and pour ¼ cup olive oil over the bottom. Arrange the tomatoes and eggplant on the sheet; sprinkle with salt to taste and roast 20 minutes, until browned.
  3. Slice the ciabatta in half horizontally and tear out some of the excess dough; divide the pesto onto both halves of the ciabatta and spread evenly over the bread. Layer the bottom half with the bell peppers, tomatoes, eggplant and mozzarella; grind black pepper over to taste. Close the sandwich and press down firmly.
  4. Wrap sandwich tightly in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator. Put a brick (or a cast iron skillet weighed down with a few cans) on top of the sandwich to flatten for about 2 hours or overnight.
  5. Unwrap the sandwich and slice into serving pieces.


  1. one of my fave sandwichces – pressed veggies, and yours is exquisite. it looks so tasty. bravissima e complimenti!

    • Hi Adri – I forgot about how great a pressed sandwich is. It’s worth experimenting with lots of variations (although I prefer all vegetables in mine)… Grazie!

      • The pressed ones are great. I love the way all the flavors meld and seep into the bread. That, plus the different textures make a good sandwich a complete meal, in my view. I often put them in the hot press, just to amp up the entire affair. I’m with you on the veg, although Bart always prefers some meat.

        I had actually just stopped back at your site to look at your photographs. They really are beautiful, and I always enjoy looking at them.

  2. That is one tasty looking sandwich! I’m certain I could eat this every day of summer and never tire of it!

    • Thanks, Laura – I think so and glad you agree. My daughter devoured hers, but she sneaked the eggplant off before I could see.

  3. It looks so good that I pinned it. Very nice delicious sandwich 🙂

  4. what a perfect summer meal! I can’t wait to make a variation on this soon!

  5. My idea of a perfect summer meal. Love pressed sandwiches and roasted veggies!

  6. I .love this sandwich look delicious!!

  7. These look delicious. I love pressed sandwiches, especially when they contain pesto!

  8. Looks yummy.

  9. What a gorgeous sandwich! You have no idea how badly I want this for lunch tomorrow!

  10. Janet Crocetti says:


    Can’t wait to try this sandwich. Our basil is growing beautifully in the back yard. (Evidently, the deer are not big fans.) Thanks for your new and exciting Sunday treat!


  11. Karen, I came to this post via Adri´s lovely link to your Pressed Roasted Veggie Sandwich – your photography is outstanding and your recipes are wonderful (I took the liberty of “looking around” a bit).This is such a wonderful summertime sandwich treat and we should all be making this – certainly a wonderful post! Thanks for sharing!
    P.S.: I will be trying your Lemon Polenta Cake tomorrow – will let you know how it turns out (it looks just like the kind of cake I like).

  12. Oh dear! I adore roasted veggies and Italian cheeses! The pine nuts and basil make this the world’s most perfect sandwich!!!
    I made your smokey chickpea tacos last night and they were a huge hit! A new fav around this joint. ;}

  13. Karen – guess who’s going to Primo in Rockland, ME in August? Sure wish you could join me!

  14. Just found this and made it with Bavarian feta instead of the mozzarella (because that’s what I had). So good! Thanks.


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