Easy Sandwich Recipe: Cheesy Roasted Broccoli Open Faced Sandwich

by Pamela

open faced sandwich, vegetarian sandwich, easy sandwich recipe, roasted broccoli, broccoli sandwich
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As I have recently become obsessed with re-creating as many restaurant dishes as I possibly can, this may be my absolute favorite! I know you’re looking at this picture thinking that I’ve lost my mind. “How could she possibly think some open faced sandwich is her absolute favorite restaurant dish? She lives in LA, there’s tons of great restaurants there.” While there are lots of amazing restaurants here in LA, not all of them have food that you can re-create at home, nor would you want to (pig face anyone?). But sometimes you grab lunch, out of necessity, and stumble upon a great flavor combination that you just can’t get out of your head. This easy sandwich recipe is one of those.

Not long ago, I was roaming around the LA farmer’s market trying to find some weird ingredient when I realized the only thing I had eaten that day was 2 cups of black coffee. As soon as I realized this, my stomach started growling and I knew that I needed to eat something with a little more substance than caffeine in it. Once I spied the broccoli open faced sandwich at Shortcake, I knew I had to have it. Of course the scones, muffins and hand pies were quite the tease too. But the thought of a sammie for lunch was a bit too much for me to pass up.

The description of this vegetarian sandwich read: roasted broccoli, béchamel sauce, white cheddar cheese and red pepper flakes. See what I mean? Pretty irresistible. Plus, an open faced sandwich gives you the added bonus of extra fillings. You can pile each slice of bread with more good stuff since there’s no pesky piece of bread to smoosh out the extra contents down your face or all over your clothes. Don’t act like you haven’t ruined a perfectly good shirt by having some sandwich contents fall all over you.

An open faced sandwich with roasted broccoli and cheddar cheese

I devoured the first slice of the sammie and vowed to save the second slice so that I could eat it at home and share some of it with Craig (I knew he’d go crazy for it too). Well, the best intentions….I managed to save him a small corner of the sandwich. Just about enough of it so that he could get a taste of it, but not enough to quell any hunger pangs he may have had. Sorry, it was just that good.

You know I’m a sucker for roasted vegetables, and roasted broccoli is no exception. I had never even thought about piling roasted broccoli onto a sandwich. Sure, by itself as a side dish or as part of a chicken pot pie or maybe added to a stir fry dish, but as the main ingredient for a vegetarian sandwich?

The original sandwich uses a béchamel sauce to keep the broccoli from falling all over the place, but I couldn’t be bothered with making up a batch of that, sometimes complicated, sauce for a sandwich. So to help make this an easy sandwich recipe, I mixed up a sauce using Veganaise as the base (and added some herbs and seasonings) of the sauce to hold the roasted broccoli together. If you’ve never used Veganaise, I think you’ll be in for a nice surprise…it’s really good. If you don’t want to use that, you could use regular mayo or homemade mayo/aioli for the base of your sauce. Or, you could go all out and just make the béchamel sauce (but it really won’t be quite the easy sandwich recipe that I promised you).

While it’s always a good idea to use really good bread when making a sandwich (the bread can make or break it), even the best loaf of bread can always use a little help. After toasting the slices of bread, I rubbed them with a clove of fresh garlic. This subtle addition of garlic to the mix really ties everything together.

Once everything is piled on to that, now garlicky, bread it’s time to strap everything in with a nice layer of cheese. This is the part of the sandwich that probably makes the most sense to you…cheese and broccoli is a pretty classic pairing. I used thin slices of one of my favorite white cheddars. I liked just having that little bit of cheese flavor mixing with all of the other flavors of the sandwich. But if you’re a big cheese head, feel free to go crazy with the stuff.

I think you’re really going to like this open faced sandwich. It’s an easy sandwich recipe that’s perfect for lunch or even for a light Meatless Monday dinner.

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Sarah September 4, 2012 at 3:23 am

Oh my gosh! That looks incredible. I think I’ve finally found a way to get my fiance to eat broccoli.

Georgie June 6, 2012 at 12:28 pm

I could eat this a lot, like everyday! I grew up in a large Greek family where we used béchamel sauce in many recipes with roasted veggies, love the stuff. Though I’m a huge fan of veganaise too, love that stuff too! Don’t you love when you stumble upon something so good it becomes a staple at your table.

Pamela June 6, 2012 at 8:18 pm

Veganaise is quickly becoming a staple in this house. I’ve got a few other recipes that will be appearing here that use the stuff. YUM!

Stephanie June 6, 2012 at 12:24 pm

I liked how you rubbed the toast down with fresh garlic. ^_^ Might have to give this recipe a try one day..

Pamela June 6, 2012 at 8:18 pm

That little bit of garlic rubbed on the bread is magic. It’s such great trick when making sandwiches.

DessertForTwo June 6, 2012 at 11:48 am

I love vegetable sandwiches! I’ve been living on a butter, radish & cucumber sandwich lately with yogurt dressing. I think I need a hot version like this!

Pamela June 6, 2012 at 11:51 am

I’ve been really hooked on veggie sandwiches lately too. Must be the weather. I’m embarrassed to admit how many of these I ate. All I’m going to say is that it involved 2 loaves of bread.

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