This grilled vegetable sandwich is the perfect way to kick off summer! Piled high with smoky grilled zucchini, red pepper, sweet onion, sun dried tomatoes and a creamy vegan ricotta cheese made from sunflower seeds, it’s fresh, light and so delicious. Completely vegan, nut free and easy to pull together for a weeknight dinner or summery lunch for the whole family.
Grilled Vegetables: A pretty important part of this grilled vegetable sandwich is of course, grilled vegetables. I like to use a mix of zucchini, red bell pepper and red onion. Feel free to use up any other summer veggies you can find such as eggplant or yellow squash.
Sun Dried Tomatoes: One of my favorite sandwich toppings, sun-dried tomatoes are packed with flavor. I like spreading them over the bottom slice of bread along with a tablespoon or two of the oil from the jar. The bread soaks it up and makes the whole sandwich so much better.
Herbed Sunflower Ricotta: I’ve experimented with a lot of vegan ricottas and this one is definitely one of my favorites. Made with raw sunflower seeds, coconut cream, fresh herbs, nutritional yeast and a little miso for an extra punch of umami. It’s rich, creamy, and goes wonderfully with the grilled vegetables.
Ciabatta or Other Crusty Bread: My favorite type of bread to use for big ol’ sandwiches like this one is a loaf of ciabatta. Using a whole loaf makes it super easy to load on the toppings and slice for multiple people. If you can’t find ciabatta, use another type of crusty, substantial bread like a baguette. I recommend toasted the bread under the broiler for a few minutes before piling on the other ingredients.
How to Make Vegan Sunflower Ricotta
The herbed sunflower ricotta can be made up to three days in advance. You will need a food processor or a high speed blender, such as a Vitamix to make sure the seeds blend up nice and smooth. If made in advance, let the ricotta come to room temperature before spreading on the sandwich for maximum flavor.
Step 1: Soak the Sunflower Seeds: Start by covering the sunflower seeds with a couple inches of boiling water and let that soak for about 10 minute or so. This helps soften the seeds, making them easier to blend.
Step 2: Blend it up: Add all the ingredients (except the herbs) to the bowl of your food processor and blend until smooth. This may take a few minutes and you’ll need to scrape down the sides as you go.
Step 3: Add the Herbs: I like to use a blend of chopped herbs such as dill, mint and parsley. Transfer the ricotta to a bowl and fold in the herbs with a spatula. And that’s it! Enjoy on this grilled veggie Sandwich or use as a dip for crackers or raw vegetables.
How to make a Vegan Grilled Vegetable Sandwich
Step 1: Slice and Oil the Veggies: The first thing you want to do is slice all the veggies. I like to slice the zucchinis lengthwise into about 1/2 inch pieces. same with the red onion. For the bell pepper, just slice the sides away from the core into four or five pieces. Place the veggies on to a sheet pan so they’re easier to carry out to the grill. To make sure the veggies don’t stick to the grill, brush all sides with a generous amount of oil mixed with a little oregano and salt.
Step 2: Grill: Preheat the grill to high. Lay the well oiled vegetables over the grates of the grill and close the hood. Grill for about five minutes on each side or until you get some nice grill marks. The red pepper and onion may take a few minutes more than the zucchini.
Step 3: Assemble the Sandwich: Start by toasting you bread of choice in the oven or broiler. Spread on a layer of sun dried tomatoes plus a tablespoon or two of the oil from the jar. Top with the grilled veggies and and spread a generous layer of sunflower ricotta on the top slice of bread. Add a few leaves of basil if desired and press the two halves together. Slice into sections and serve.
Tips for Making Grilled Veggie Sandwiches
- If you prefer not to grill the vegetables, you can roast them in the oven. Cut the veggies into similar sized pieces and oil according to the instructions. Spread evenly on to a sheet pan and bake at 400° F for 30-35 minutes or until tender and crispy. Continue with assembly as written
- If you are not vegan, a dairy ricotta cheese can be use din place of the herbed sunflower ricotta. Just let it come to room temperature and fold in the chopped herbs as well as a squeeze of lemon juice.
- These veggie sandwiches are best served fresh, but they’re also great as a packed lunch. Just wrap tightly in plastic wrap and store in the fridge until ready to eat.