Warm veggie hoagies
Makes 2 sandwiches (2 servings)
Heating these sandwiches in the microwave makes the buns soft; for a crusty texture, individually wrap the sandwiches in foil and heat them in a 350° F oven for about 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the bread is crusty. To serve a crowd, multiply this recipe by 4 and substitute a loaf of Italian bread for the poor boy buns, then slice into sections for serving.
For the spread
2 tablespoons minced sun-dried tomatoes
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 clove garlic, minced
Dash of freshly ground pepper, or to taste
Dash of red pepper flakes, or to taste
Salt to taste
For the bread
Two 6- to 8-inch poor boy (hoagie) buns, halved horizontally
For the filling
1 tomato, cut into ¼-inch-thick slices
Dash of salt
Dash of freshly ground pepper
Two 1/8-inch-thick slices red onion, separated into rings (optional)
½ cup thinly sliced mushrooms
¼ green bell pepper, cut into ¼-inch-wide strips
½ cup (about 2 ounces) coarsely shredded mozzarella cheese
¼ cup sliced ripe olives
1 cup finely shredded lettuce
To make the spread, stir together all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
To prepare the bread, spread the cut sides of the buns with pesto-mayonnaise mixture.
To assemble each sandwich, atop the spread on the bottom half of a bun, layer half of the filling ingredients in the order listed. Close the sandwich, spread side down, fasten with long sandwich picks, and halve diagonally.
To heat, place the sandwiches between 2 paper towels in the microwave. Heat on high for 1 minute, or until the buns are warmed and the vegetables are still crunchy. (Heating for longer will make the buns soggy.)
These sandwiches can be assembled up to 2 hours before serving; wrap them in plastic and refrigerate. Heat just before serving.