I thoroughly enjoy summer; it’s sunny all the time, you can jump in the pool any time of day, you get to wear cool sunglasses, and sandals, and dresses, you don’t need to think about whether you’ll need a sweater later. Most of all, I love the plethora of fresh produce. Going to the farmer’s market each week for me is like going to fashion week. I come home with bags full of precious treasure and turn them into edible art. And let me tell you, art that you get to eat is one of the best things in the world.
My big three foods of the summer are zucchini, tomatoes, and corn. The vivid colors and textures represent the abundance of the summer sun. Bursting with life, and so many possibilities. I can make a pasta sauce, tacos, salads, pizza, I could go on and on but my hands down favorite accompaniment to fresh summer veggies is pesto. Basil being a summer herb after all it fits in perfectly with my bounty of produce.
I seriously love pesto, it makes anything better. I could write a love poem to pesto. It’s bright green richness envelopes the senses and brings a magnanimity to every bite. I stopped adding cheese to my pesto years before I went vegan because the basil can stand on its own. It can dress up a dish in a single swish, but tonight, as the first day back at work after a long holiday weekend I’ve decided on a simple pesto sandwich. It’s a breeze to make and it doesn’t skimp on flavor. Let’s celebrate the end of summer with a sandwich so beautifully simple it might just make you cry, or reach for a glass of wine.
If you end up with any leftover pesto you should definitely save it for some pesto pizza (one of my favorites) which I’ll post about sometime soon.
Zucchini Pesto Sandwich
*Quick tip: If the raw garlic taste from fresh cloves overwhelms you, you can always replace it with a couple teaspoons of crushed garlic or vegan garlic aioli.
Makes 2-4 servings
1 large bunch basil
3-4 garlic cloves
1/4 cup walnuts
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
4 slices of bread, preferably sliced fresh from a whole grain loaf
1 zucchini, sliced lengthwise (you should get 4 or 5 slices from one zucchini)
1 tomato, sliced widthwise (you should get about 4 slices from one tomato)
Preheat the oven to 375F degrees.
For the pesto, toss all ingredients in a blender. Blend, stirring as needed, until everything is incorporated.
Grease a baking sheet and slather both sides of each strip of zucchini and tomato with pesto. Toss into the oven for 15-20 minutes. Once the veggies have browed a bit remove the tray from the oven. Stack up your sandwich and try not say “yum,” I dare you.