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GRILLED VEGGIE SANDWICH WITH ROASTED GARLIC MAYONNAISE

MAKES 6 SERVINGS

Because the vegetables are good hot or cold, they can be grilled ahead and refrigerated. Assemble the sandwiches just before serving.

Start to finish: 1 1/2 hour (30 minutes active)

2 red bell peppers

2 yellow bell peppers

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for the rolls

1 teaspoon dried rosemary

Kosher salt and ground black pepper

6 large portabella mushrooms, stems removed

1 medium zucchini, cut into 6 long strips

6 kaiser or onion rolls (or 12 thick slices of sourdough bread)

Head of roasted garlic (see recipe below)

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 bunch fresh basil, leaves only

1/2 pound chunk Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, thinly sliced with a vegetable peeler

1/2 pound thinly sliced prosciutto (optional)

Prepare and heat a gas or charcoal grill for high heat, direct grilling.

Place the red and yellow bell peppers on the grill grate and cook, turning frequently, until the skin is charred all over, about 5 minutes per side. Use tongs to remove the peppers from the grill and place them in a large bowl. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Set aside for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, the skins should slip easily off the peppers. Slice them open, remove the seeds, then cut into large strips.

In a medium bowl, mix the vinegar, olive oil, rosemary and a bit each of salt and pepper. Add the pepper strips, turning to coat, and set aside to marinate for at least 30 minutes. This also can be done up to 3 days ahead.

When ready to grill, return the grill to high heat.

Set the mushrooms and zucchini in a large bowl. Pour the marinade off the peppers and onto the zucchini and mushrooms, tossing them lightly to coat well.

Grill the mushrooms, gill side up, for 8 to 10 minutes, then flip and grill for another minute, or until completely tender. Grill the zucchini slices for 3 minutes per side.

Split the rolls in half. Brush the cut sides lightly with oil. Place cut side down on grill for 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden brown.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together the garlic and mayonnaise until smooth. When the rolls are toasted, assemble the sandwiches by spreading both sides with garlic mayonnaise, then layering a mushroom, zucchini, peppers, basil leaves, cheese and proscuitto. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

ROASTED GARLIC

MAKES 1 HEAD

This is one of those pantry items that make almost any recipe better. Substitute roasted garlic for raw cloves when you want a mellower, smoky flavor. And if you are roasting one head, you might as well go ahead and make a few extra; they keep in the refrigerator for at least a week. Wrap each head in its own sheet of foil for easy grilling and storage.

Start to finish: 40 minutes (mostly inactive)

1 head garlic

2 teaspoons olive oil

Remove the outer layer of papery skin from the garlic. Slice off the top 1/2 inch from the pointed top of the garlic head. Set the garlic, cut side up, on a large square of foil. Drizzle it with the olive oil, then wrap the foil up and over it the garlic to form a loose packet.

Set the garlic over the cooler side of the grill and cook for 40 minutes, or until the cloves are golden-brown and soft. Remove from the grill and let cool. To remove the cloves, simply squeeze the entire head (or each clove) and the cloves should pop out of their skins.

Elizabeth Karmel, AP



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