This roasted vegetable sandwich is delicious, and the quick pea pesto gives it an extra awesome taste. It's perfect for a picnic or lunch. Easy, vegan and vegetarian. Make it in the oven or on the grill.
Recipe commissioned by Portmeirion.
The lovely folks at Portmeirion recently set me a challenge to come up with an al fresco recipe that would show off their gorgeous Botanic Garden Harmony range of stunning British-made crockery.
The result was this tasty sharing sandwich, made with roasted veggies (or make them on the bbq or grill!), plus a fragrant and flavourful pea pesto that adds a bit of extra pizzazz.
The results are a delicious vegan/vegetarian sandwich, that's perfect eaten in the great outdoors on a warm day.
Roasted Vegetable Sandwich
I love adding lots of flavours and textures to sandwiches. They can be simple things, but it's so easy to elevate them to something special.
Be sure to start with nice bread. I like mine wheat with grains through it for extra flavour and goodness.
While the Mediterranean vegetables are roasting (or grilling on the barbecue), you can easily whiz up a pea pesto. I've left out pine nuts, so perhaps it's not technically a pesto, but it's a tasty sauce/spread/pesto that adds a bright and fresh taste.
Grab peas from the freezer (or fresh if you can get them) and whiz them with some spinach and mint leaves, then drizzle in the oil so it emulsifies. Stop a moment, breathe in and smell the joys of springtime. Bliss.
For a little extra wow, after toasting the bread, cut a clove of garlic and rub it over the warm surface. It adds a wonderful subtle garlic kick.
Vegan Picnic Recipes
Dining Al Fresco
Dining al fresco can mean a sandwich thrown into a backpack and eaten on the beach, or grabbing your breakfast and sitting in the morning sunshine outside the house. Both are lovely, but I love making it a frequent and special affair, too.
Pulling the table into the garden and adding a tablecloth, nice crockery and a posy of garden flowers turns a meal into something pretty special. It's a great way to get together with friends or family and turn a meal into something special.
Portmeirion Botanic Garden Harmony
The Botanic Garden Harmony range from Portmeirion is absolutely gorgeous. I love the butterfly print and it's perfect for dining alfresco, dinner parties and everyday dining.
Their British-made products not only look amazing and are great quality, but they're dishwasher safe (always a bonus to me!). I love the blending of modernity with a classic retro look for this range. It's fun and stylish.
The range, made in Stoke-on-Trent, England, is really durable, so I’ve been able to use it daily and not have to hide it away for special occasions. Because every day should be a special occasion. So don't fear taking it into the garden. With this butterfly pattern, it belongs there amongst the flowers.
Dishwasher safe, microwave safe, freezer safe, oven safe up to 170°c.
Disclosure: Portmeirion commissioned this recipe. As ever, all opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that make it possible for me to write Veggie Desserts.
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Roasted Vegetable Sandwich with Pea Pesto
- 1 eggplant (aubergine)
- 1 zucchini (courgette)
- 2 red bell peppers
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp roughly chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 tsp thyme leaves
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup (150g) peas (thawed if frozen)
- 1 cup packed (50g) fresh spinach
- 1 tbsp chopped mint leaves
- 1 clove garlic chopped
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- ¼ cup (75ml) olive oil
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 loaf of uncut fresh bread
- 1 clove of garlic
- 2 tsp roughly chopped mint leaves
- 1 cup arugula / rocket
- Preheat the oven to 400F/200C.
- Cut the eggplant/aubergine and zucchini/courgette into ½ inch slices. Deseed the bell pepper and cut it into ½ inch slices.
- In a bowl, mix the oil, rosemary and thyme. Add the vegetables and toss to coat. The eggplant/aubergine will soak the oil up like a sponge, so toss those very briefly. Season with salt and pepper, then spread the veggies out in a single layer on a baking sheet (two if necessary). Roast for 30 minutes or until soft. Set aside to cool.
- Alternatively: Grill the veggies on the barbecue or in a griddle pan.
Meanwhile, make the pea pesto:
- Put the peas (if frozen, thaw by placing them into a bowl of hot water for a few minutes), spinach, garlic and lemon juice into a food processor, then pulse briefly until it’s all chopped up finely. You may need to scrape the sides down.
- Then keep the food processor running and slowly drizzle in the olive oil, letting it all blend into a smooth and lovely pesto. You may need to scrape the sides down again.
Assemble the sandwich
- Slice the loaf of bread in half lengthways to create one large sandwich and toast each side (under a grill or on the barbecue).
- Peel and halve the garlic clove, then rub it over each toasted side of bread.
- Spread the bottom slice side with pea pesto (any remaining will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days).
- Layer the bottom slice with the cooled roasted vegetables. Sprinkle on the chopped mint leaves, then place the top slice of bread on top.