The process of grilling, along with the flames and the seasoning, works wonders for the flavor of any dish. Caramelizing beautifully, it ups the taste of the said vegetable by several notches. There are some vegetables that take amazingly to grilling – such as sweetcorn, onions, eggplant, squash/zucchini, bell peppers, sweet potatoes, asparagus, mushrooms etc. When you marinate Paneer (cottage cheese) with a mixture of spices and grill it, the result is phenomenal in terms of taste.
DH loves anything thats grilled / oven roasted. He loves roasted/grilled starters of the veggie kind – in all cuisines ranging from North Indian to Italian. He loves it when I add roasted/grilled veg to any dish – be it pasta, a sandwich, on pizza, etc. In fact, the day I made this, he had just the veggies all by themselves, while I made myself a sandwich 🙂
The flavor of the vegetables are so distinct and robust, that you don’t really need much seasoning, actually. Even if you just mix salt and pepper with olive oil and grill the veggies, you will still end up with a fantastic sandwich. The key is to use great quality veggies, and you’re set! Here’s a closeup of the grilled veggies 🙂 The onions have basically caramelized, bringing out their inherent sweetness. Same for the peppers, which are charred outside and juicy inside. The zucchini becomes incredibly soft and takes on great taste from the seasoning!
- Black Pepper powder (or white) – 1 tsp
- Italian seasoning (or mixed herbs of your choice) – 1 tsp
- Red chilli flakes – 1 tsp
- White vinegar – 1 tsp
- Sugar – 1.5 tsp
- Salt – 3/4 tsp
- Oil (any oil, without a strong flavor) – 1 tbsp
- Bread ( any kind, I used multigrain)
- Cheese of your liking, I used Amul processed cheese – either grate it or use slices like I did (1 slice for one sandwich)
- Grill pan or Tawa (you will get the caramelization on a tawa, but not the grill marks or the deep char, it will still taste good).
Seasoning the vegetables before grilling
This is not a marinade, but a to-go kind of seasoning more like. Its very easy to put together and can be used for a variety of purposes. Feel free to add more or less of any of the ingredients, to arrive at a taste that you like.
Set this aside. This is your seasoning mix.
Grilling the veggies
Chop up your veggies into relatively thick, flat slices..
..see the slices of zucchini below? Your slices must be around that thickness. Don’t worry, the grilling process will ensure that the veggies are cooked fully!
Meanwhile, season your grill pan with very little oil (about 1 tsp). Switch on the stove and let it heat the pan (medium-low flame).
Now using your hands, or a pastry brush, evenly coat each vegetable slice with the seasoning mix & place them in the grill pan. Take care to not overcrowd the pan (or place veggies on top of each other), as the veggies need to be in contact with the pan to develop a nice char. With more surface area touching the grill, they’ll pick up more grilled flavor.
Carefully turn them over, every two minutes. Keep the flame on medium-low all the time, as the veggies need to cook thoroughly.
See the beautiful caramelization and the lovely dark grill marks? That is what makes this sandwich absolutely delicious! 🙂
Assembling the sandwich
Take two bread slices. I used multigrain bread.
Using tongs or a convenient spatula, place the vegetables of your choice on one slice.
Place whatever cheese you are using, on the other slice of bread. I used Amul cheese singles, you could use any type of cheese you want.
Put together the slices to form a sandwich. (It is easier to use the bread slice with cheese to cover the veggie half of the sandwich, as the filling may spill out of the bread if you try to flip it at this stage)
Now carefully transfer this to the grill pan. I used the same grill pan that I previously used to roast my veggies. The leftover oil in the pan was sufficient, i didn’t have to add any extra oil. Also, all that char and seasoning imparts loads of flavor 🙂
After 30-40 seconds, (or when you can see the cheese melt), flip the sandwich carefully, taking care not to spill out the contents. Even if it does spill out, just put it back in once the sandwich is done 😀
Tada! Utterly delicious and flavorful sandwich – look at the gooey cheese, and the glaze on the pepper 🙂 One sandwich was more than enough to fill me up – this was my breakfast! (No reason why this can’t be lunch, or dinner). Add whatever veggies suit you, eliminate whatever you don’t like – make this the way you would like! Do try it and let us know your comments!!!