Grilled Veggie Sliders with Goat Cheese Spread and Roasted Red Pepper Vinaigrette.
On pretzel bread!!
No no, it doesn’t get any better.
Seriously. I do not know how to smash MORE flavor between two buns. Besides adding bacon. Which I sort of want to do. (You should do it. Because Monday.)
Look down there at these downright ADORABLE little pretzel buns. I used this recipe. I was totally in the mood to bake.
Don’t you just want to eat them up? The good news is: you’re allowed.
Here’s the thing. Do you know how strongly I feel about grilled veg and goat cheese? In my heart of hearts (no, really, this is getting deep) (even though I just wrote “dip” instead of deep.) I believe that it goes together like chocolate and peanut butter. Bacon and eggs. Avocado and toast. Brie and baguettes.
It just GOES together. Right? I would actually even eat a gigantic pan of grilled (or roasted) vegetables as long as I knew they were sitting on a blanket of goat cheese or covered in a sprinkling.
On these little buns o’ love we have:
caramelized red onions and bells peppers
soft and juicy garlicky portobellos
a creamy goat cheese spread with roasted garlic and tons of fresh herbs
avocado, because it’s 2015
a roasted red pepper vinaigrette raining down over the entire thing.
Really. It’s a veggie-loather’s (or lover’s, I guess) dream come true.
Since I’m all about the football food, I wanted to make a sandwich that wasn’t beef or chicken or pork since I have a million of those. I wanted a sweet and savory, veggie filled, cheese covered slider because mini food means you get to eat more. (!!!!!!)
And I knew for SURE that I wanted pretzel sliders (we can usually find super large buns and bread, but not mini rolls) – THAT would make eating a vegetable sandwich about 431 times better.
I also need to tell you a secret.
We may have dipped the leftover pretzel rolls in the leftover green chile queso. Uh. Hello best idea ever. THAT’s where the leftovers went.
We also took the pretzel rolls and leftover caramelized peppers and onions and added smoked sausage. (And more of the queso, but that’s besides the point.) (Also, birthday boy palooza needs to end now and I need four days worth of kale.) (Finally, halp me.)
So now, we have veggie-loaded football food! Besides, like, a plate of crudite.
You can make ’em a bit ahead of time and wrap them in parchment and warm them for the game. They will make you all sorts of friends. And I won’t even tell on you if you want to add some queso too…
- pretzel buns or slider buns of your choice
- 1 red onion, sliced into bun-size pieces
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced
- 1 orange bell pepper, sliced
- 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 4 large portobello caps, stems removed and quartered
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 avocados, sliced
- a few basil leaves for topping
- 8 ounces goat cheese, at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 head roasted garlic, cloves squeezed out
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
- pinch of salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup roasted red peppers, I used sun-dried peppers
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1/2 tablespoon honey
- 2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- pinch of salt and pepper
- Preheat the grill to the highest setting. Take two sheets of aluminum foil (or use a grill pan!), using one for the peppers and onions and using the other for the portobello pieces. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil over each packet and 1 tablespoon vinegar over each. Cover the peppers and onions with the salt, pepper, paprika and brown sugar. Add the minced garlic to the portobellos (we will season after). Fold up all four sides of the packet so they are easily transportable to the grill.
- Place each packet on the grill grates and grill until the veggies start to char and become caramely, tossing occasionally. Grilled the portobellos until soft and juicy, tossing a few times as well. Once finished, remove the packets and let them cool slightly. Season the mushrooms with a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Build your sliders by spreading the goat cheese on the bottom, topping with a mix of veggies, sliced avocado and the vinaigrette.
- Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend until combined. I scrape down the sides a few times and if needed, add another drizzle of olive oil.
- Note: I used sun-dried peppers for these photos so my dressing was a bit chunkier. A roasted red pepper version will be a little smoother. If using canned roasted reds, make sure to press a big of water out of them with a towel.
- Add the peppers, vinegar, honey and garlic to a food processor and blend. Stream in the olive oil until emulsified and combined. Add the salt and pepper and blend again. Tasted and season more if desired.