Roasted Vegetable and Tapenade on Baguette Recipe – When Sandwich Becomes Art

The sandwich is such a conflicting food item. The span of ideas within this umbrella of essentially any filling squished between bread has deterred me from eating them for a long time.

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Homemade Tapenade, Roasted Vegetables, Artisanal Juniper Berry Elk Salami, Local Sheep Cheese on Baguette

On one end of the spectrum, the sandwich is hailed for its portability, convenience, and affordability. All throughout elementary school, my mom made me peanut butter and sugar sandwiches between two slices of 60% wheat bread for lunch every – single – day. From those years, I equated sandwiches to something just meant to fill me up.

On the other end of the spectrum, the sandwich has since been glorified as a chic dine- out item. (Please don’t get me started on Kobe beef and foie gras burgers or gourmet polenta). It’s true, there’s a definite art in constructing a prime sandwich but why must there be such a divide between the apathetic home sandwich and the gourmet restaurant variety?

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When was the last time you slowed down and paid as much attention and care to building a sandwich at home as you did for more glamorous meals? Admittedly, I don’t remember the last time I made a sandwich besides a grilled peanut butter and cheddar to soak up the sins of a hard night.

Today, I decided to give the sandwich as much respect as I do to my other creations and came up with this sexy baby:

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After some thought and planning, I arrived at a list of attributes to consider when building a sandwich:

  • Quality of the bread
  • Ease of eating e.g. thickness, how well the layers hold together
  • Complimentary and contrasting flavours
  • Textural interest
  • Temperature
  • Convenience i.e. should be made with readily available items
  • A certain je ne sais quoi to keep them guessing

That is my sandwich philosophy. What’s yours?


  • 1 Asian Eggplant
  • 1 Zucchini
  • 2 large (or 4 small) Sweet Bell Peppers
  • 1 cup Manchego Cheese, grated
  • Salami (optional)
  • 1 Baguette

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  • 1/2 cup olives, pitted
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 3 tbs capers
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 squeeze of lemon juice

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Quick Tapenade

Chop and combine.

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Preheat oven to 450°F.

Roast the bell peppers and slice into strips. Detailed instructions are found here.

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Slice the zuchinni and eggplant thinly using a vegetable peeler or a sharp knife. Toss in olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread them out on a foil-lined baking pan and roast in the oven for 10 minutes. Flip them half way.

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Slice the baguette in half lengthwise. Brush with olive oil and toast briefly for 1 minute.


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Spread the tapenade on the bottom baguette slice. Top with eggplant, salami, bell peppers, zuchnini, and cheese.
Press the sandwich down firmly with a heavy board for 1/2 hour.

When ready to serve, heat the sandwich and melt the cheese in a 350°F oven for several minutes.

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Remove and rest until the cheese cools. Slice on the bias and serve.

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Simply omit the salami for pure vegetarian goodness.

Enjoy. Serves 2-3.

  1. August 20, 2009 by sara

    Now that is a sandwich. I agree that most sandwiches are uninspired and just meant to fill you up. I have never been a big sandwich eater, except for really good gourmet sandwiches, such as this beautiful creation. Great job!

  2. August 20, 2009 by Merle

    GREAT SANDWICH!!!! I do something like this on the grill in camp. I need to work up a post and make sure you see it. I have been too busy with other web work to do my food blog this summer. I have been taking photos and saving up recipes so this winter I can catch up on my meals outside posts. LOVE your blog. Thanks for sharing!

  3. August 20, 2009 by Alta

    This looks lovely. I am not the biggest sandwich fan either…growing up, every day we had either PB&J or bologna (ew). This would be much more my style!

  4. August 20, 2009 by Debra

    looks lovely

  5. August 20, 2009 by jenn

    Looks great!!! I love how uniform the layers are. Definitely sandwich art. That’s a pretty big sammie, though…got any more slice you can ship over? ;-)

  6. August 20, 2009 by Tangled Noodle

    I’m adopting your sandwich philosophy! In these penny-pinching times, I’ve been doing a lot more sandwiches but, as you’ve noted, taking more time with them than just slapping a piece of shaved meat between sliced bread. I’m having a lot of fun discovering new ingredients and condiments beyond iceberg lettuce, slicer tomato and some mayo.

    The tapenade recipe sounds delicious and your photographs are just gorgeous!

  7. August 20, 2009 by Kamran Siddiqi

    This is not only sandwich art- it’s sandwich porn. These sandwiches look too good to eat! But that won’t stop me. Wanna mail me a sandwich? I’ll mail you a cake or something… :D

  8. August 20, 2009 by Mel (admin)

    Sounds like a good deal :) I don’t bake! but cake is my fav food!

  9. August 21, 2009 by nikki

    looks perfectt

  10. August 22, 2009 by Divina

    That’s a sumptuous sandwich. I agree with list. But without good bread, it can be called a good sandwich. Hmm, would I be able to finish the whole sandwich…. Thank you. :)

  11. August 22, 2009 by Cucinista

    That is a sandwich I could eat and ask for more. Serves 2-3…? I love a good sandwich, but you are right that it has to be more than just bread and filling. I for one crave a good thick bread base, a little something soft, something with bite, and a contrast in flavors. I think yours has it all.

  12. August 24, 2009 by Lan

    am i a nerd and snobby sounding when i say that i’ve always made my sandwiches pretty? for as long as i can remember i’ve made my sandwiches a certain way, either as thin as possible (just for kicks) and recently, as soft as possible (as to not eff with my braces).

    i am in love with your tapanade and with the exception of the crunchy baguette you used, i’d recreate this between something slightly softer… what that would be, i’m not sure tho…

  13. August 25, 2009 by Karen

    I never really had sandwiches growing up, and now, I could probably eat them everyday. So it seems your theory of association may be right on the money :) This looks wonderful, btw. I’m coming over for dinner ;)

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