Absinthe, San Francisco.
Makes 2 large sandwiches
1 red onion, sliced in 1” thick rings
1 zucchini, sliced about 1⁄2” thick lengthwise
1 yellow squash, sliced about 1⁄2” thick
1 small eggplant, sliced about 1⁄2” thick
1 red pepper, roasted
4 ounces fresh goat cheese
2 ounces wild arugula (conventional arugula is also fine)
1 cup balsamic vinegar
2 cups extra virgin olive oil
1 bunch basil, chiffonnade
4 cloves garlic, sliced
to taste, salt and pepper
1 loaf Italian batard, 1”thick slices cut on bias
4 Tbsp. pickled relish (recipe follows)
For Pickled Relish:
1⁄4 cup capers, chopped
1⁄4 cup cornichons, chopped
1 small red onion, minced
1⁄4 bunch parsley, chopped
1 cup nicoise olives, pitted and chopped
3 pickled peppers, seeded and chopped (store bought or use recipe below)
1⁄2 cup olive oil
1lb. red Hungarian wax peppers, ripe
2 cups white distilled vinegar
1 cup sherry vinegar
1 cup sugar
10 cloves garlic, cut in half
1 yellow onion, sliced
1⁄4 bunch thyme
2 Tbsp. black peppercorns
1 Tbsp. allspice
2 Tbsp. salt
For sandwich: Sprinkle eggplant slices with a small amount of salt and let sit for about 30 minutes until they release some liquid, then proceed to marinate.
Marinate all the vegetables in 1 cup of balsamic vinegar, 1 cup of olive oil, basil, garlic and salt and pepper. Let the vegetables sit for about 30-45 minutes in the marinade and then grill all of them except the roasted red peppers. Reserve the vegetables and cover to keep them warm.
Griddle the bread in the remaining olive oil until it is golden brown in color and crispy. Place roughly 2-3 pieces of each of the grilled veggies on one side of the bread and top with half the goat cheese. Pile on 2 Tbsp. pickled relish and about 1 ounce arugula. Close sandwich and cut it in half.
For pickled relish: In a mixing bowl combine all ingredients. Adjust seasoning if necessary with salt. This is best when made a day ahead.
For pickled peppers: Rinse peppers to remove any dirt and place them in a plastic or non-reactive container.
In a sauce pan combine all the other ingredients and bring to a boil. Pour hot brine over peppers and let cool. Seal in a container and let sit roughly 10-14 days in a cool space before using. Once container is open, be sure to refrigerate peppers.