pressed roasted veg sandwiches

 

Sometimes, if I’m having a long week or in need of a change of scenery, I’ll spend a few brief minutes before work making a nice breakfast or walking to a cafe to sit down for a little while or walking through a park.

Last friday I did just that. The park bordered a patch of unmaintained forest and it was early enough that I shared it with only a handful of dog-walkers and some landscapers tidying up the gardens. The trail began with a gravel corridor lined by elegantly tall trees and at the end, lake Ontario could be seen through a pocket in the greenery. A pair of squirrels darted past, chasing one another. Friends, siblings, or maybe mates playing tag through the trees. Was their dance a way of seeking approval? Were they communicating in some way, sizing each other up? I want to believe that they live a more carefree existence than our overcomplicated ones, free of concerns and self-awareness.

“There’s always a sunrise and always a sunset and it’s up to you to choose to be there for it,’ said my mother. 'Put yourself in the way of beauty.” -Cheryl Strayed

So I am. Putting myself in the way of beauty that is. Being intentional with these moments: no distractions, no rush. Taking time in the in-betweens, less wasted time and more meaning.

Pressed Roasted Veg Sandwiches

Makes 4 sandwiches

1 small eggplant or 1/2 large

2 bell peppers

1 large zucchini

olive oil

s + p

1/4 cup pesto (homemade or store bought)

1/4 cup feta cheese

focaccia or other sandwich bread, for 4 sandwiches

Slice the zucchini and eggplant into 1/2 inch thick planks. Core the peppers, removing the seeds and slice into planks about 1 inch wide. Drizzle olive oil over the veggies and season with salt and pepper before grilling or roasting in an oven at 375*F for about 40 minutes, turning half way until veggies are tender and browned nicely.

Slice focaccia open to create top and bottom slices. Toast lightly, then spread pesto on one half, and top each with 1/4 of the feta. Then layer the roasted vegetables on the other half. Carefully place the two halves together then transfer them to a clean cutting board or flat plate. Cover with parchment, then place something heavy (2-3 cook books, a cast iron skillet + some cans etc.) on top to weigh them down. Leave them pressed for at last ~30 minutes (up to a day in the fridge) and enjoy.