from Vegan Yum Yum by Lauren Ulm

1/2 c pine nuts, dry toasted (I used walnuts. I fear the pine nut!)
1/3 c sun-dried tomatoes, oil packed
1 roasted red pepper (jarred peppers work fine)
1 zucchini
1 tsp (or a little more) olive oil
1/2 to 1 tsp Italian herbs, dried, of your choice
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
1 French baguette (I used 2 ciabatta rolls, rubbed with a garlic clove before toasting)
1 c baby spinach

Place the (pine) nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat. Toss occasionally; more often when nuts turn shiny. When browned on both sides, remove from the pan immediately. Be careful not to burn these- you don’t want to leave the kitchen while toasting!

Place (pine) nuts and tomatoes in a food processor and blend until smooth (or however close to smooth you feel like getting). It can be chunky, too. The oil in the tomatoes is usually enough to make a nice spread consistency, but if you’re using dry sun-dried tomatoes, add a drizzle of olive oil. Set aside.

If you’re roasting the pepper, start that now. Jarred roasted peppers (water packed) work great too.

Chop the zucchini into rectangles 1/4-inch thick. Heat 1 teaspoon or so of the olive oil in a saute pan, just enough to coat the bottom. Turn the heat up to very high and wait a minute or two for the pan to get very hot.

Place about 1/2 teaspoon of herbs on the bottom of the pan; they should sizzle. Add the zucchini rectangles in one layer, pressing down on them with a spatula. You want to cook them very quickly, browning them on both sides before they get too soft. Sprinkle with salt and pepper while in the pan and remove once each piece has some color on both sides.

To assemble the sandwich,  toast or grill the bread. Spread each side generously with the (pine) nut and tomato mixture. Lay the zucchini down, followed by the roasted red pepper. (You can keep the pepper whole or slice it into strips.) Add baby spinach, press sandwich together, and serve or wrap tightly in plastic wrap or foil. Makes 2 large baguette sandwiches.

Lauren, you’ve done it again. Managed to sneak your way into my rotation! These are the kings of vegan sandwiches. The key to any good sandwich is having a spread barrier between the bread and the innards to keep the bread from getting soggy while you head out to your picnic destination. We didn’t have far to go- just to the couch to enjoy some Project Runway, so the zucchini was still warm, and… wow. I could have eaten two of these, even though they were ginormous.
I’m still afraid of the pine nut. I don’t know if that will ever go away… so I used walnuts instead. The spread was definitely tasty, but I don’t think the walnuts added much flavor. I tell you what though, I wouldn’t skip that garlic rub prior to toasting- that was a nice touch, I must say. I did use the jarred peppers, and I wouldn’t recommend slicing them. As it was, they weren’t terribly eager to stay on the sandwich. And I had enough to do two layers of zucchini, so I put the peppers and spinach in between those two. This would be super tasty with eggplant as well, but of course I’d think that about my favorite veggie. I think we might have to invest in a picnic basket for when the weather gets nice…
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