This is one of my go-to sandwiches on the weekends. After the gym I’m usually ravenous and want to eat something immediately and this sandwich is so quick to make, provided you already have the roasted peppers on hand. I highly recommend roasting the red peppers yourself instead of using the jar kind. It’s so easy, basically all you do is pop them in the oven. The only tedious part is after they are cooked when you have to peel the skins off and get the seeds out. In my opinion, the payoff is worth it. If you roast 4 or 5 peppers at a time, you will have a nice supply in the fridge for up to a week. Well, that’s if you live alone, like I do. Although this sandwich is easy to make it feels sorta…gourmet. And after sweating it up at the gym this simple, gourmet sandwich is a treat I can feel good about eating. This recipe is adapted from Ina Garten. Here’s how to make it…
4-5 large red bell peppers
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
2-3 cloves garlic, smashed
1 tablespoon capers
1 teaspoon chopped parsley
1 teaspoon chopped basil
5-6 large basil leaves, whole
red onion, sliced paper thin (optional)
Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Place the whole peppers on a sheet pan and place in the oven for 40-50 minutes, until the skins are wrinkled and charred. Turn once or twice during cooking. Remove from oven and immediately cover tightly with aluminum foil and set aside for at least 30 minutes. You don’t want to burn your little fingers. Once they are cool enough to handle peel all the skins off each pepper and remove the seeds and stem. Rip the flesh of the peppers into thick strips and put them in a bowl with their juices.
To the bowl add the olive oil, balsamic, smashed garlic, capers, chopped parsley, chopped basil and some salt & pepper to taste. Voila, the peppers are done! I like to let this mixture blend for a few hours or even a day before preparing the sandwich, so the smashed garlic has a chance to flavor the peppers and oil. I prefer to add the whole garlic cloves smashed instead of chopping the garlic, eliminating the risk of eating a raw piece of garlic in the sandwich. It could be potent sometimes. These peppers will stay in the fridge covered for up to one week (if they last that long).
For one sandwich: Toast bread. Spread each half with goat cheese. If you love goat cheese (as I do) spread liberally. On top of the goat cheese on one half of the bread lay as many basil leaves in a single layer as will fit on your bread slice. On top of the basil leaves lay the red pepper slices. If you decide to include the red onion in this sandwich now is the time to place those slices on top of the peppers. I don’t always add the red onion as I find they have a tendency to linger long after the sandwich is gone. However, if you are careful to slice them super thin, it’s not so bad. If you love red onion, then feel free to slice to your desired thickness and glob them on. Cover with the other slice of bread and enjoy!