The sun has come out!! (finally)Noodle and I were busy all day playing with Auntie and baby at the ranch. It was such a beautiful day, we started out under the porch which proved to be too hot so we moved our 'go fish' camp under the trees. The boys were so sweet, 'playing' together in baby's tent; Noodle was such an attentive, gentle cousin. (and the soph dog was quite tolerant of the baby's tugging and pulling :)) After our stint at the ranch, where I encouraged Auntie to start her 'farm girl' blog, we headed back in to town to the lake; Nana was itching to have some play time too. Upon arrival, Noodle immediately pulled out his John Deere tractor and proceeded to run over anything and everything he could get to... such a boy! Nan and I planned out the logistics for the 24x24 throwdown which is THIS WEEKEND and then played a rousing game of 'tag on a John Deere'. It's pretty fun, you should try it sometime.
Because of all our fun-in-the-sun, dad actually beat us home! I actually hate when we're not home before him to have the house 'turned on' and at least a cold beer waiting, if not dinner, completed or close to... I feel like as the wife it's my duty; he didn't mind though... he never really does.
Are you wondering about food? As I ramble on? Ok, I'll get there... now, due to our galavanting, I hadn't even thought about dinner so I decided to try out some version of the post for artisan bread pizza I saw on Joseph's Grainery 's blog last week. It looked so good I have continued to think I should give it a try. So off I set, veggies in hand. Now, I ended up with more of an open faced sandwich... regardless, it was super delicious, simple and beautiful. Thank you to Joseph's Grainery for the inspiration!
I am definitely going to make it for a party soon; I actually considered replacing my throwdown burger for the 24x24 challenge. In the end I'm sticking with the burger but this sandwich will be a headliner soon!
Need: (makes about 6 open facers)
1 medium-ish eggplant, sliced thin-is
1 zucchini, sliced lengthwise, thin-ish
1 yellow squash, sliced lengthwise, thin-ish
1 red bell pepper, sliced whole (so, start with one side and just slice it, vs. slicing in half and making spears)
1 walla walla sweet onion, sliced thin-ish
8-10 shitake mushrooms, sliced
Truffle salt (ummm, of course!)
1 loaf artisan bread
Vegan gourmet or other vegan cheese, sliced thin (really thin)
Fresh basil leaves
Well, first slice all your veg... this probably takes the most time and it doesn't take long at all. Arrange your veg on a tray, drizzle with olive oil and go turn on your grill.
In a pan (inside) heat some olive oil and sautee your onions for about 3-4 minutes. Then add shitakes and continue to sautee. Note: I did these inside because A: I didn't want the onion to fall apart on the grill and B: The slices of shitake are too small to manage on the grill without a grilling 'bowl' and I didn't feel like pulling it out :) Next time I am going to try grilling both of these in the grilling 'bowl'.
Arrange other veg (eggplant, zucchini, squash, red bell pepper) on the grill, add a bit more olive oil if needed and sprinkle some truffle salt on each piece of grilling veg. Let them grill up well so they get those beautiful grill marks. Flip and repeat. When done cooking, keep the grill on but remove the veg and re-organize on your tray. It's a pretty thing to look at and your guests will ooh and ah at the site.
Bring your veg inside and slice your artisan bread loaf into about 3/4 inch slices. Arrange them on another tray or plate to take outside but before you do, let the stacking begin!
(p.s. sorry there are so many pictures... it was all so pretty I couldn't stop!!!)
Start with a piece of very thinly sliced vegan gourmet cheese on the bread (you want it thin so it will melt and not be all gooey and weird), then add two pieces of eggplant, side by side. On top of that add two pieces of zucchini, kind of caddy-whompus diagonal. On top of that put another piece of vegan gourmet, then add the squash, then the onion and shitake mix, then on top of that, one piece of bell bepper, a couple fresh basil leaves and top it all of with another (or two) piece of vegan gourmet. Sprinkle with truffle salt and repeat for your other pieces.
When all slices are ready, take them out to the grill and pop them on. Let them grill for about 5 to 6 minutes. It doesn't take long. Remove and you're ready!
We were in such disarray, I didn't make a salad, but you should serve it with a salad. They are hearty, flavorful and really nice to look at.