Saturday, 21 September 2013

Roasted Beet & Spinach Pesto Cheesy Melt

For someone who doesn't love them, there are quite a few sandwiches on this site.  Don's favourite food in the world is a sandwich and I try to keep things interesting with various veggie combinations.  Previously I would have told you my favourite is the Roasted Zucchini with Lemongrass Aioli.  He would have said his favourite is the Southwest Sandwich .  My friend Lori still talks about the time we carpooled to hockey and I brought along my Beet and Grapefruit Sandwich to enjoy.  As their family enjoyed subs from a drive thru, she threatened that she might just rip that sandwich right out of my hands!  All this to say, I thought I had peaked in my sandwich creations.  I mean, could I really find a better sandwich than those we already loved?

I think you know where this going.  Yes, dear readers, I'm calling this the best sandwich I've ever made.  The smoky beets, ooey cheese and acidic pesto make for a perfect combination in one bite.  Even better, you can make all the components in advance, meaning a quick assembly will have this meal on your table in under 20 min.  The prep work of different spreads and vegetables might seem like a lot of effort, but it's all worth it in the end.  Will there be another sandwich post in the future?  Of course there will!  It wouldn't be Kale Eats without new creations and new flavour combinations.  In the meantime, I'm filling my face with these sandwiches all fall long.

Roasted Beet & Spinach Pesto Cheesy Melt

4 Rolls
2 Tbsp olive oil (divided)
4 medium beets
1 Vidalia onion
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded Gruyere cheese

Sun dried Tomato Aioli
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 sun dried tomato
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 crushed garlic clove
1 sun-dried tomatoes
1 tsp Dijon mustard

Spinach Pesto
3 cups spinach
1/2 cup basil
1/2 cup mint
1/2 cup parsley
1/2 cup walnuts
1 garlic clove
zest of one Meyer lemon
juice of one Meyer lemon (about 4 Tbsp)
1 tbsp kosher salt
1/4 cup olive oil

Preheat oven to 400degrees.
Place unpeeled beets in roasting pan, tossed with 1 Tbsp of olive oil.  Roast until cooked through (about 30min).  When cool, remove skins and slice into rounds. Reserve.
In a cast iron pan, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil on medium heat.  Add onions and cook for about 30 min, stirring often until softened and caramelized.  If they begin to stick, add a little water to the pan.  Reserve.
Making Aioli:
In a blender, combine mayonnaise, sun dried tomato, garlic, lemon juice and mustard.  Pulse until combined and reserve.
Making pesto:
In a food processor, combine: spinach, herbs, lemon juice and zest, garlic, walnuts and salt.  With motor running, pour in olive oil until mixture is broke down and incorporated.  Reserve.
Split each roll in half.  On bottom spread aioli, top with onions and beet slices.  On second half, spread pesto and equally divide cheese on each.  Place in oven and warm about 5 min.  Turn oven to broil and then cook about 5 min more, until cheese is fully melted.  Enjoy

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