I had a grilled eggplant sandwich in Palo Alto many years ago, and soon after came up with my own verson. Ever since then, it has been my absolute favorite dish to make in the summer. I don't care if you are an omnivore, carnivore, vegetarian, or a flexitarian. You will love this sandwich.
Dave and I have zukes growing out of our ears this summer. We harvest at least one every other day. Just from one plant! Also, I don't know if it's the variety or our season, but our zukes are shockingly delicious, especially when grilled. They are creamy, nutty and not at all bitter. Because we opted out of growing eggplant this year, I decided to try my grilled sandwich with its green "counterpart" and try to control our bounty (if you want some zukes, let me know). I think I might be a convert. The zucchini's flavor and texture really holds up better than grilled eggplant.
On the aioli: I love experimenting with aioli, mainly because it's so easy to make a delicious batch. This one has all the basics, lemon, mustard, salt, but with some chopped up red pepper. It's essential for this sandwich.
Red Pepper Aioli
about a cup of mayo
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp dry mustard
freshly ground white pepper (black will work in a pinch)
2 Tbsp red bell pepper, finely chopped or mashed in a mortar
1-2 Tbsp lemon juice, or to taste
Mix everything together and let sit for at least an hour in the fridge before using.
Grilled Zucchini Sandwiches
homemade foccacia bread (or Ciabatta bread), sliced
8 oz fresh mozzarella, sliced
spinach or chard
half a red onion, thinly sliced
Meanwhile, lightly coat zukes with oil. Grill for 5-6 minutes on the first side. Flip the zukes and place a slice of mozzarella on each slice. Let the zukes cook until tender and the cheese is melted, about 4 more minutes. Briefly toast focaccia slices on grill.
Assemble your sandwiches. Slab aioli on one slice of your focaccia. Layer with greens. Pile on pepper, zucchini and slices of red onion. Top with the other slice of focaccia. Go for seconds.