Alex Guarnaschelli's Roasted Vegetable Sandwich with Tahini-Coriander Dressing
September 08, 2023

Alex Guarnaschelli's Roasted Vegetable Sandwich with Tahini-Coriander Dressing

This fabulous sandwich recipe comes from Alex Guarnaschelli's new book Cook It Up. "This is a “mom” recipe that I’ve adopted as my own. My mom learned about mixing the rich, silky sesame flavors of tahini with roasted vegetables when she was working in the south of France. I just like the combo because it’s tasty. I make this sandwich in the early fall with the vegetables that are available at the farmers’ market, like eggplant, red bell peppers, and zucchini. I char them to make them extra sweet and flavorful and then drizzle it all with lots of tahini dressing, which totally makes this sandwich because of its smooth sesame and pungent garlicky taste. I add aromatic coriander, too, and the combination of the sauce, pillowy pita bread, and silky bitter-charred and sweet roasted veg is out-of-this-world amazing. Like I said, I’m no veggie connoisseur, but this could maybe turn me into one (not likely . . . but maybe). The charring of the peppers creates a life-changing step—I also like the way the charring makes the peppers extra sweet. If you don’t have a gas burner, feel free to use store-bought roasted peppers."  

For the Vegetables & Sandwich
6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for greasing
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 large eggplant, cut into 1-inch rounds
1 medium zucchini, cut into 1-inch rounds 
Kosher salt & pepper
2 large red bell peppers
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
4 pitas, opened halfway (not completely split into two halves)

For the Dressing
6 tbsp Seed + Mill Organic Tahini 
Juice of 1 large lemon
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp coriander seeds, toasted 


1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and brush the foil with olive oil.

2. COOK THE EGGPLANT AND ZUCCHINI: In a large bowl, mix together 4 tablespoons of the olive oil and the garlic. Toss the eggplant and zucchini rounds in the oil and season with a few pinches of salt and a few turns of pepper. Arrange the rounds in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet, season with salt and pepper, and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until a fork slides easily into the middle of the vegetables without any resistance. 

3. CHAR THE PEPPERS: Place the red peppers directly on the flame of a burner on low heat. Allow the skin of the peppers to char (turn black) and as the skin begins to turn color, use a pair of heat- resistant metal tongs to rotate them often until all sides are charred. Use the tongs to remove the peppers from the heat (be careful— if you squeeze the pepper too hard, it will split and the liquid will leak all over the place!) and set them aside to cool for a couple of minutes. Cut them in half and remove the stem parts and seeds from the insides. Place the halves, cut side down, on a flat surface and use a clean kitchen towel to wipe the charred skin from the pepper flesh. Finely chop the pepper halves, add them to a medium bowl, and toss with the vinegar.

4. MAKE THE DRESSING: In a medium bowl, whisk together the tahini and the lemon juice with the honey, coriander, and remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add 1 teaspoon salt and taste for seasoning, adding more honey if it’s missing sweetness or a last squeeze of lemon if it needs brightness and acidity.

5. ASSEMBLE: On a flat surface, open each pita pocket and use a spoon to spread some of the tahini dressing on the bottom half of the bread. Next, divide the eggplant and zucchini evenly among the pita, then stuff some peppers into each pita. Drizzle the dressing over the vegetables and close the pita. Press down gently on each sandwich to tighten the layers, and eat!

Reprinted with permission from Cook It Up: Bold Moves for Family Foods: A Cookbook by Alex

Guarnaschelli and Ava Clark copyright © 2023. Photographs Copyright © 2023 by Suech and Beck.

Photographs Copyright © 2023 by Ken Goodman. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House.