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
freshly ground pepper
Equipment: rimmed baking sheet
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!