main dish, recipe, spring, summer, vegetable

Grilled Vegetable Sandwich with Pesto and Brie

Twelve years ago, my parents bought a very simple cottage in Northern Ontario in order to finally have what we consider to be their own slice of paradise. This cottage has since doubled in size, and although it is still very rustic, we kind of like it that way!

Sometimes it is good to disconnect and return to a simpler way of living: no internet, no shower (!), and no roads. Instead, we bathe in the lake, and go to the bathroom in outhouses. We hike, sail, canoe, kayak, wind-surf, and water ski. We take mid-afternoon naps in hammocks and, of course, we eat and drink well into the evening.

One favourite dish at the cottage is what we call “The Cottage Sandwich”. Come to think of it, the only reason we gave it this name was because we only really ate it at the cottage. But I would highly recommend eating it anywhere (kind of like Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs & Ham). This delectable sandwich consists of a toasted bun, perfectly grilled vegetables, a generous slice of creamy brie cheese, and a dollop of pesto.

Grilled Vegetable Sandwich with Pesto and Brie


–  vegetables for grilling (my favourite selections include egg plant, red pepper, onion, zucchini, and whole mushroom caps)
– oil for grilling
– brie cheese
– pesto
– sandwich or hamburger buns


1. Preheat your barbecue on medium-high heat. Meanwhile, slice your vegetables into manageable slices (you will have to play around with this to find the consistency you prefer but still being able to handle the vegetables properly)
2. Brush each vegetable with oil on only one side, placing the oiled side down on the grill. Close the barbecue lid, and allow to cook for about 5-7 minutes until it is nicely grilled on one side.
3. Brush the top side of each vegetable piece with oil, and flip over (the trick is to just flip it once!).  Close the lid for another 5-7 minutes.
4. Line your buns on the top rack of the grill in order to toast them slightly if you can, otherwise you can put them in the toaster or the oven for a couple minutes. Remove veggies from grill immediately, and prepare to make your sandwiches!

Stacking the sandwich: put a generous slice or two of brie on one of your sandwich halves, and then top with a heat-retaining vegetable like zucchini or eggplant (ones that are slightly more dense). This makes sure that the retained heat will melt your cheese! Then top it with some other grilled vegetable varieties, spread pesto on the other bun half, and then sandwich it all together.

Best enjoyed with a delicious beer-shandy, and then an afternoon nap.