Here’s a tasty and distinctive sandwich for those moments when you feel like doing a little more than just quickly slapping your go-to vegan goodies between two slices of bread. Chef Valerie Augustine grilled eggplant and zucchini on a stovetop grill and whipped up an aioli dressing using avocado instead of olive oil. Along with caramelized onion and sliced tomatoes, it proved to be a winning combination. For the bread, she chose fresh sourdough rye from Bread Alone in nearby Kingston, New York, one of our all-time favorite bakeries that is well-known in stores and green markets throughout the Northeast.

Serves 6


Ingredients for sandwich

1 head of garlic

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling on the garlic

2 large white or yellow onions, peeled and sliced thin

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Organic canola or olive oil for spraying grill

4 medium zucchinis with their skins, thinly sliced lengthwise

Salt and freshly-ground pepper

2 tablespoons granulated garlic

1 large eggplant (see directions for slicing below)

3 medium slicing tomatoes

12 slices of your favorite whole grain bread


Ingredients for aioli

½ cup vegan sour cream (we like Tofutti)

Juice of ½ lemon

2 teaspoons hot sauce

Salt and freshly-ground pepper to taste

6 roasted garlic cloves

1 large avocado

Organic canola or olive oil for spraying grill


Method for vegetables

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Chop top off of entire garlic bulb, exposing cloves, and place on a large piece of aluminum foil. Drizzle bulb with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Gather foil around garlic bulb, enclosing bulb, and roast it in the oven for 25 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a sauté pan and sauté sliced onions for 10 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar to the sauté pain and caramelize the onions for another 10 minutes. Set aside.
  3. Spray grill pan with oil and place on stovetop over low heat.
  4. Sprinkle salt and freshly-ground pepper and 1 tablespoon of the granulated garlic over zucchini slices. Grill zucchini, turning once, for about 5 minutes on each side. Set aside.
  5. Peel eggplant and slice in half lengthwise. Turn the two halves flat side down and slice lengthwise into 1-inch slices. Sprinkle salt and pepper and remaining tablespoon of granulated garlic over the eggplant slices and grill on both sides. The eggplant will require a little longer on the grill than the zucchini. Set aside.


Method for aioli

  1. Place sour cream, lemon juice, hot sauce, and salt and freshly-ground pepper in a small bowl and mix with a rubber spatula.
  2. Smash roasted garlic cloves and make a paste, incorporating it into the mixture.
  3. Cut avocado in half lengthwise. Remove and discard pit. Scoop out flesh, and mash it into the mixture, allowing the aioli to retain a slightly chunky consistency.


Assemble sandwich

  1. Spread aioli on both internal slices of bread. Layer one piece of the bread with onions, zucchini, eggplant and 2 slices of tomato. Close the sandwich with the second piece of bread. Repeat process for remaining sandwiches.
  2. Spray grill with oil and grill sandwiches over low heat for approximately 3 minutes on each side until the bread is slightly toasted and has nice grill marks.