I literally just had this for lunch, and it was so delicious I knew I had to hop over to my computer (with a full belly) as quickly as possible and tell you guys about it.
The original idea for these little open-face sandwiches comes from a meal I had while visiting my in-laws in Thunder Bay, Ontario last month. For lunch one very chilly day, we sought refuge from the frigid wind in the warm and cozy atmosphere of The Growing Season—a local whole foods restaurant. Pretty much every single item on the menu looked like it would be right up my alley, but I took the suggestion of my sister-in-law and ordered the garden grill—an open face sandwich of pesto, grilled veggies and feta.
It did not disappoint. It was such a simple concept, but the resulting sandwich was warm, flavorful and the perfect centerpiece for a light lunch. I knew immediately I was going to need to recreate it at home. And, just my luck, our CSA just happened to have fresh basil pesto in stock this week. Kismet, right?
Admittedly, this sandwich isn’t a quick lunch option—roasting the veggies alone takes 15-20 minutes—but if you’re just kicking around the house one weekend afternoon, this is a great option. You could also roast a bunch of veggies on the weekend, and then assemble and finish these guys under the broiler in a snap for a quicker version.
I can assure you this isn’t the last recipe inspired by The Growing Season. In fact, I snagged myself a take-out menu so I can keep track of all the deliciousness that they serve. I might just make my way through the whole thing like a checklist.
Roasted Veggie, Pesto and Feta Toasts
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Makes: 2 servings
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced thinly
- 1 red onion, sliced thinly
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 4 slices whole grain bread
- 1/4 cup basil pesto
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta
- Preheat oven to 425°.
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the olive oil and garlic. Add in the sliced pepper and onions and toss with clean hands until coated. Spread mixture in one layer on a baking sheet, season with salt and pepper and bake in preheated oven, stirring occasionally, until veggies are tender, about 15-20 minutes.
- While veggies are cooking, arrange the four slices of bread on a separate cooking sheet. Spread one tablespoon of pesto on each slice of bread.
- Once veggies are finished, preheat the broiler. Then layer the peppers and onions evenly on the four slices of bread. Top each slice with feta. Broil for 3-5 minutes, or until feta begins to brown.
Serving size: 2 slices. Servings per recipe: 2.