One of my favorite things about Idaho in the fall is using up the last of the veggies from the garden. The final harvests always seem to taste the best, probably because each bite is savored knowing the familiar flavors won’t be experienced again until the following summer. Coincidentally, this is also the season of warm, hearty meals- a perfect coming together of food.
Lunch is often an overlooked meal, but with this sandwich it doesn’t have to be. I remixed the recipe from Vegan Cooking for Carnivores by Roberto Martin. My version is vegetarian and uses slightly different ingredients in order to savor the last flavors of summer.
Makes 1 sandwich.
-2 slices of whole wheat bread, preferably organic
-2 teaspoons butter, slightly softened
-Red onion, thinly sliced
-1 small Roma tomato, thinly sliced and seeds removed
-Sliced cheddar cheese
-1 tablespoon fresh basil
1. Spread butter on the outside of one piece of bread. (You could do without the butter if you want but it really does make a delicious difference.) Set aside.
2. Spread mustard on the inside of the other piece of bread. Top with onion slices, tomato, cheese, and basil. (I like to put the cheese between the onion and tomato layers to act as a glue when it melts.)
3. Top with the buttered bread, butter side out, and carefully flip over onto a cast iron pan so that butter side is down. Spread the outside of the top slice of bread with butter. Flip sandwich carefully when side one is to your desired toasty-ness. (And yes, I made that a word.)
[Note on cooking utensils: I recommend a cast iron pan and a cast iron panini weight because I think they make the best grilled cheese sandwiches. I cover the weight in tinfoil to make it easier to clean. You can certainly use a non-stick pan and no weight if you want.]
4. Once the sandwich is toasted to your liking, carefully remove it from the pan and enjoy!
Want to try the original vegan recipe? Check it out below: