We haven’t talked a lot about food on The Barefoot Nomad. Which is odd, really, since food plays a big part in our lives on (and off) the road.
I’ve been reading fellow travel blogger Jodi Ettenberg’s wonderful Food Traveler’s Handbook, and it’s led me to think more and more about how food intertwines with our travels.
It’s really as simple as this: When the food is good, our travels are usually good, and when the food is bad, our travels are usually bad. And lately, in the warm climate of Southern Spain, the food has been very good.
We’ve spent the last month sandwiched between Andalusia’s green mountains and the Mediterranean. With the beautiful climate in Southern Spain comes an abundance of fresh, ripe, locally grown veggies and fruit. Since we cook most of our meals ourselves, all of this wonderful produce has made its way into hearty vegetable soups, salads and (one of our travel favorites) grilled vegetable sandwiches.
We first got the inspiration for these sandwiches from the interior of British Columbia, during a visit to the Tranquille Farm Fresh market last summer. The fresh produce and clean air of Southern Spain reminded us a lot of our time in the mountains in British Columbia, making Spain a perfect place to recreate these yummy grilled veggie sandwiches.
This is not a precise recipe, which is why it’s such a great meal for traveling. I usually make it with whatever vegetables are fresh and on hand, and use the local cheeses and breads we like most. We generally eat these as is, however Charles loves his with a few strips of bacon for any of you non-vegetarians out there.
Grilled Vegetable Sandwiches
- 1 Zucchini
- 1 Eggplant
- 1 Onion
- 1 Red pepper (or capsicum, for those from the UK or Australia)
- 1 Yellow pepper (or capsicum, for those from the UK or Australia)
- 4 Lettuce leaves
- 1 Tomato
- 3 Tablesppons olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar (optional)
- 2 Fresh baguettes cut in half (to make four sandwiches) or 4 fresh buns
- 3 Tablespoons butter
- 4 Slices Havarti (feel free to substitute Gouda, Cheddar, Edam or any other cheese)
Easy Roasted Garlic Mayonnaise
- 3 Garlic cloves (whole)
- 4 Tablespoons mayonnaise
- A few drops of hot sauce (optional)
- Wash vegetables and lettuce and pat dry.
- Slice tomatoes into 1/4 inch slices and set aside.
- Slice vegetables into half inch thick slices, brush with olive oil and season lightly with salt and pepper. Leave skin on garlic cloves and brush with oil.
- Cut baguette or buns in half lengthwise, and spread both sides lightly with butter.
- Place vegetables (except for tomatoes) on hot grill. You can cook veggies on a BBQ, an open-faced grill, or even a hot frying pan, and they’ll turn out perfectly delicious.
- Cook until vegetables are tender. Toss with balsamic vinegar, if desired.
- Place baguette, butter side up, on grill and cook until warmed through.
- Pop the skins off roasted cooked garlic cloves, and mash the garlic cloves into the mayonnaise with a fork. Add a few drops of hot sauce to season, if desired.
- Spread roasted garlic mayonnaise on both sides of baguette.
- Pile piping hot vegetables on the bottom half of the baguette.
- Cover with cheese. If you’d like the cheese to melt thoroughly, pop the sandwiches under the broiler for a minute to melt the cheese.
- Place uncooked tomatoes and lettuce on top of cheese.
Makes 4 servings.