Photo by Daniel Berman/The AS Review

Shawna Leader/The AS Review

Summertime foods usually fall into the category of, “If we can grill it, we’ll eat it.” But, two factors make grilling a less universal option.

First, not everyone owns a grill. And believe me, cooking food over a campfire may seem ideal in a back-to-nature sort of way, but no, your landlord will not be happy if you dig a fire pit in the backyard. Bellingham is located in the Pacific Northwest and there are stretches of rainy summer days that make grilling difficult, if not impossible. On the days when an outdoor grill and picnic isn’t an option, these sandwiches make a great summer-themed meal. And when the sun is out and the grill is ready to go, summer vegetables definitely belong in the grilling category.


1/2 eggplant, sliced; 1/2 zucchini, sliced; 1 red bell pepper, sliced; 2 tablespoons olive oil; thickly sliced bread (ciabatta or whole wheat works best); pesto; sliced mozzarella or white cheddar; balsamic vinegar.

How to do it:

Preheat grill or broiler. Place vegetables in a bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Place vegetables on the grill or (if using broiler) a cookie sheet. Grill or broil vegetables for three minutes on each side, or until softened and slightly charred. Transfer vegetables to a plate.

If desired, toast bread slices in the oven,  in a toaster or on the grill. Spread pesto on one slice of bread and layer vegetables and cheese on top. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and top with second slice of bread.