Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Roasted Vegetable and Italian Chicken Sandwiches with Marinara

This is something I came up with the other night and it is based on two of my favorites. One of those is a sandwich I always get at Maggiano's, deep-fried, breaded eggplant, roasted red peppers, roasted mushrooms and squash,with some lovely cheese, all on crusty Italian bread, with marinara to dip it in. The other favorite is something my mom always used to make when we were kids. She thinly sliced zucchini, peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, whatever veggies we had from the garden, layered them on a hoagie bun, put a slice of mozzerella on top, and broiled it until golden. So, this is me trying to recreate all those delicious veggies, without the deep-fried goodness, and I added some chicken, because some people in this house can't handle just eating veggies (It isn't me). Oh, and I found these wonderfully, thinly sliced chicken breasts in the poultry section of the grocery store, which saved me some pounding! I was also able to use some of the great produce I found this past weekend at the local farmers market.
Roasted Vegetable and Italian Chicken Sandwichs with Marinara by Mary Ann
2 red bell peppers or pre-bottled roasted red peppers if you don't want to roast your own
1 japanese eggplant, (or normal eggplant), thinly sliced
1 summer squash, thinly sliced
1 zucchini, thinly sliced
4-5 button mushrooms, thinly sliced
4 chicken breast halves, sliced thin, or pounded thin
Italian seasoning
arugula or spinach leaves
provolone cheese slices
ciabatta bread, or other crusty Italian bread (hoagies would work too)
marinara sauce, for dipping

1. Preheat the broiler. Cut the red peppers in half, discard seeds and membranes. Place them cut side down, on a piece of foil, on a baking sheet. Smash them down with the palm of your hand. Broil until roasted and skins are slightly black, 10-15 minutes. Remove from foil with tongs and place in a large ziploc bag for 10-15 minutes. When cool enough to handle, carefully remove the peel and place in a bowl.

2. Switch the oven control to 450 degrees. Spray another baking sheet with cooking spray. Layer your thinly sliced veggies on the baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil or spray with cooking spray, and season with salt and pepper. Roast until almost tender, 5-7 minutes. Place in a bowl and cover with a plate, leaving a small opening to vent.

3. Heat 1 Tbls olive oil in an electric skillet. Add chicken breast and season liberally with Italian seasoning. Cook for a few minutes, and turn over to other side. Season with more Italian seasoning and cover. Cook for a few more minutes, until cooked through. When cooked through, remove from pan.

4. Warm marinara in the microwave or in a small saucepan while preparing sandwich.

5. To prepare sandwich, slice bread in half. Layer arugula (this has a bit of a bite, kinda peppery) or spinach on the bottom. Top with roasted zucchini, summer squash, eggplant, and mushrooms. Layer chicken on top of veggies. Top chicken with roasted red peppers and provolone. Place under broiler to melt cheese. Put other half of bread on top and serve with marinara. You could also spread the marinara on the bread, if you are not one who likes to dip!


Jenny said...

It's way to early for me to be drooling over this sandwich! Next time I'm at the farmer's market, those ingredients will be first on my list so I can make one too! Great recipe and pics!

Mandy said...

I will be making this VERY VERY soon, yummy!

Prudy said...

That looks like my perfect sandwich and load me up with the watermelon fizz while you're at it.

Sophie said...

These look like they should be served in a cute little deli somewhere....and they sound so tasty! I like the roasted veggie aspect, I'd definitely take these on a picnic.