veggie grinders with mozzarella and tomato sauce

Call it whatever you want—sub, hero, grinder—we call it delicious.

By: Anna Decker / 03/24/2016

It’s a vegetarian version of our favorite kind of sandwich, layered with melted fresh mozzarella and a tangy homemade tomato sauce. Be sure to cook all of the vegetables until they’re tender (go on, try a piece before you assemble) so you don’t have any awkward sandwich-eating moments. Cook, relax and enjoy!

What you'll need: 1 large fennel bulb 1 red onion 4 cloves garlic 1 bunch broccoli rabe 1 14-oz can cherry tomatoes 3 hoagie rolls 12 oz fresh mozzarella 1 oz fresh basil olive oil coarse salt freshly ground pepper

Equipment: rimmed baking sheet small saucepan potato masher large skillet

Recipe steps: 1. Prep vegetables Preheat oven to 425°F. Halve, peel, and thinly slice red onion. Cut fennel into quarters, remove core, and thinly slice. Peel and finely chop 2 garlic cloves. Peel and thinly slice remaining garlic clove and roughly chop broccoli rabe.

  1. Roast vegetables Toss onion and fennel with 3 tablespoons olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast, shaking pan halfway through, until golden and tender, 20–25 minutes.

  2. Make sauce Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small saucepan over medium-high. Add chopped garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 1 minute. Add tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, breaking up tomatoes with a wooden spoon (or potato masher if you have it), and cook until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes.

  3. Sauté broccoli rabe Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add sliced garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add broccoli rabe, ¼ cup water and season with salt. Cook, tossing often, until tender and wilted, 3–5 minutes.

  4. Toast rolls Split rolls lengthwise but leave edge attached. Open and place on a separate rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle cut sides with olive oil and toast in the oven until golden, about 5 minutes. Slice mozzarella and divide between rolls. Return to oven and bake until melted, about 5 minutes.

  5. Build sandwiches Remove any large stems from basil leaves. Top each sandwich with a little bit of sauce, basil, onions and fennel, and broccoli rabe, serving any extra sauce on the side for dipping. Enjoy!

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