I was flipping through Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa at Home cookbook, and this sandwich caught my eye. It was just what I was looking for – an Italian themed sandwich for a picnic lunch. I served it with some colorful tomatoes, veggie chips, and fresh fruit… and voila, a gourmet lunch in a snap.
The most time-consuming part of Ina’s recipe is roasting the red peppers. Not only does roasting them take 30-40 minutes, but then you have to let them cool before you peel them. Trader Joe’s sells ready-to-eat jarred roasted bell peppers, and using the ready-made version cuts out more than 1 hour of prep time from this recipe. These roasted peppers taste great right out of the jar and are wonderful in all kinds of sandwiches, salads, or pasta dishes, so I always keep some on hand.I omitted red onions that were in Ina’s original recipe, because I’m not a fan of raw onions, but you can add them. If you can’t get fresh basil, you could try spreading on some pesto, also available ready-made at Trader Joe’s in the refrigerated section; they also have a jarred version, but we prefer the refrigerated one.
My husband, who is prone to ask, “Where’s the beef?” whenever I serve a vegetarian entreé, was pleasantly surprised at how satisfying this sandwich was. This is the type of fancy sandwich you’d expect to see at a gourmet cafe, and it takes just minutes to make!
Roasted Red Pepper and Goat Cheese Sandwich
(Adapted from Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa at Home)
Ingredients for each sandwich
- Baguette or other crusty bread
- 1-2 pieces Fire Roasted Red or Yellow Bell Peppers
- 2 oz. goat cheese
- 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 4 fresh basil leaves
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Slice baguette open and toast if desired.
- Spread goat cheese on one side and balsamic vinegar on the other. Add a layer of roasted red peppers and a layer of basil leaves.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Close sandwich and serve.