Hands up if you’ve had a sad veggie sandwich before. We sure have. While sandwich shops seem to be brimming with meat options galore, the vegetable side of the sandwich board usually comes up short. Cucumber slices and sprouts? Cute, but that doesn’t exactly get us excited. Give us a big, epic, juicy veggie sandwich that’s loaded with flavor. One that’s a wee bit messy, but totally worth rolling up your sleeves for. Is that too much to ask for?! We don’t think so. After a lot of searching the most obvious answer was to make our own. And this Roasted Veggie Sandwich totally delivers.
Lately we’ve been pretty obsessed with Peri Peri Sauce, which is a deeply flavorful sauce that originates from Africa. It’s tangy, citrusy, garlicky and turns whatever you brush it on into magic. Ever been to Nando’s? That sauce. In this case, Peri Peri Sauce does wonders with roasted vegetables. Like so good we need to stop ourselves from eating the whole batch directly from the pan. For this sandwich, we like to roast the vegetables long enough to develop a nice char on their edges. It helps mimic some of the flavor and texture you’d get on the barbecue, without needing to step outside. The last step to roasting the veggies is to slather them with Peri Peri Sauce. It them to a whole other level… caution... you may only want to make them this way ever again.
When it comes to the Peri Peri Sauce, we prefer making it at home because it gives you complete control over how spicy it is. We most enjoy when the sauce has a mild heat - enough to keep things exciting - but doesn’t blow your head off (and trust us, some store-bought versions have that power). You can find the recipe to our Easy Peri Peri Sauce here. It’s a cinch to make yourself, so we highly recommend it. You can easily whiz it up while the vegetables are roasting in the oven. But if you prefer store-bought, go right ahead!
Assembling the rest of this sandwich is pretty straightforward, since the roasted peri peri vegetables are definitely the star of the show. You’ll need enough bread for four sandwiches. We recommend ciabatta or focaccia, but other types of buns or bread would be suitable as well. A smear of mayonnaise (vegan, if desired) helps make the sandwich extra lucious. Avocado, because it’s always a good idea. We like to mash the avocado so it gets in all the nooks and crannies, but you’re probably also an avocado expert (who isn’t?!), so we’ll leave you to decide. A small handful of arugula provides a nice fresh, peppery contrast. And just like that, you’ve assembled a pretty perfect sandwich!
This combo is always a hit with friends and family - nobody misses the meat. For easy entertaining, you can roast the veggies in advance and just heat them up to serve. And bonus points for letting guests assemble their own sandwiches at the table. Simply have the toppings set out in bowls - less work for you! If you somehow have any leftover veggies, we’d recommend adding them to salads, bowls or even pizza. Or, eat them cold, straight out of the fridge like we do. Yes, they’re that good.
Roasted Veggie Sandwiches with Peri Peri
- ½ lb zucchini
- ½ lb eggplant (peeled optional, see note 1)
- 1 small red onion (or 1 large red onion)
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 yellow bell pepper
- 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil (or other neutral oil)
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ cup Easy Peri Peri Sauce
- 4 Ciabatta buns (or focaccia cut for 4 sandwiches)
- 4 tbsp mayonnaise (vegan if needed)
- 1 avocado (mashed or sliced)
- 2 handfuls arugula
- Preheat: Put the racks in the upper- and lower-thirds of the oven, and preheat to 425°F (220°C).
- Cut vegetables: Cut zucchini and eggplant into long strips (¼-inch / 0.5cm thick). Cut onion into ¼-inch (0.5 cm) thick rounds. Cut red and yellow bell peppers lengthwise into quarters.
- Bake vegetables: Spread the vegetables out across two parchment-lined baking sheets, then generously brush with grapeseed oil (on all sides). Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 15 minutes, then flip vegetables. Return to the oven and bake until brown on the edges, about 10 more minutes. (Depending on how evenly you cut your vegetables, some may cook faster than others - so keep an eye on them and remove earlier if needed).
- Brush with sauce: Brush the peri peri sauce all over the roasted vegetables. Return to oven and bake until the sauce is hot, 3 to 5 minutes. (Note: You may wish to add the bread into the oven to warm it in the last couple minutes).
- Assemble: Spread mayonnaise over the warmed bread. Top with the peri peri roasted vegetables, avocado, and arugula.
- Peeling eggplant: A lot of the bitterness has been bred out of modern eggplants, but if the skin bothers you, peel it before using.