Summer Zephyr Sandwich
The Summer Zephyr features bright, balanced flavors, vibrant ingredients, beguiling textures, and alluring aromas.
1 cup cider vinegar
1 cup seasoned rice vinegar
1 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
2 red onions, peeled, halved top to bottom, thinly sliced
1 cup hot vinegar base
1 to 2 Roma tomatoes (or heirloom or beefsteak tomatoes when in season)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup fresh basil leaves, packed, thinly sliced crosswise (chiffonade)
4 medium-size garlic cloves, peeled, smashed
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
Large handful of baby arugula
Extra-virgin olive oil
French roll or baguette, halved lengthwise
Sliced fresh mozzarella, enough to cover bread, overlapping slices slightly
Store-bought balsamic glaze, see cook’s notes
Cook’s notes: Balsamic glaze is a syrupy reduction of balsamic vinegar. It’s sold in squeezable plastic bottles at many locations, including Smart & Final (La Romanella, 16.9 ounces for about $4.99; or Trader Joe’s Trader Giotto’s Glaze, 8.5 ounces for $2.99)
- Prepare vinegar base: Combine vinegars, water and sugar in medium saucepan.
- Bring to boil, stirring to dissolve sugar.
- Remove from heat.
- Prepare pickled onions: Place onions in heatproof bowl.
- Pour 1 cup hot vinegar base over onions and toss.
- Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours or up to one week.
- Cool remaining vinegar base.
- Marinate tomatoes: Slice tomato 1/4-inch thick.
- Place in bowl and add basil, 1 cup cooled vinegar base, 1/4 cup olive oil.
- Gently toss.
- Taste; season with salt.
- Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours or up to 4 days.
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat to 350 degrees.
- Prepare basil aioli: Combine all ingredients in food processor.
- Pulse 4 to 6 times to finely chop ingredients, let motor run until mixture is smooth, about 30 seconds. Cover and refrigerate up to 3 days.
- Prepare arugula salad: In a small bowl, toss arugula with just enough oil to lightly coat leaves.
- Season with salt.
- Build sandwich: Reassemble roll so it looks uncut.
- Place in preheated oven, and toast until crisp on outside but soft inside.
- Open bread, and lightly spread both cut sides with aioli.
- Place tomato slices on bottom bun.
- Top with mozzarella slices and about 2 tablespoons pickled onions.
- Top with arugula salad.
- Squeeze balsamic glaze in a zigzag pattern atop arugula; add top bun.