This is Week #38 of my 2011 cooking challenge! Click here to view all recipes from this challenge. All recipes created for this challenge come from the Food and Wine Annual Cookbook 2010: An Entire Year of Recipes.
It is a small miracle that I got these sandwiches made. And a big miracle that I got them photographed. I was simultaneously watching my little Sammy, who I sometimes refer to as My Little Tornado. I'll give you a snippet of how things went: put zucchini slices on grill, chase Sam down driveway, flip zucchini, blow up beach ball for Sam, put English muffins on grill, make sure Sam isn't eating rocks again, and so on. After finishing, and after wondering how in the world I managed to pull that off, I chased My Little Tornado around with sandwich in hand. I was glad it was a portable meal because once I bit into it, I did not want to set it down.
In a food processor, combine:
1 cup packed basil leaves
1 large garlic clove, coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon hot smoked paprika
Process until finely chopped. With the machine on, gradually pour in 3 tablespoons of olive oil until blended. Season the pesto with salt.
Light a grill.
Cut a zucchini lengthwise into 4 slices. Brush the zucchini slices with olive oil and season with salt. Grill over high heat until nicely charred and just tender, about 2 minutes per side. Cut each zucchini slice in half crosswise.
Grill four English muffins, cut side down, over low heat until just soft, about 30 seconds. Turn and grill until the muffins start to brown, about 1 minute. Spread the cut sides of the muffins with the pesto.
Layer on top of the four English muffin bottoms:
1 slice of Gruyere cheese
2 zucchini pieces
1 more slice of Gruyere cheese
English muffin top
Brush the tops and bottoms with olive oil and grill over low heat, turning, until they are crisp on the outside and the cheese is melted, about 4 minutes total. Cut the sandwiches in half and serve!