Pilot News Recipe of the Day: Roasted Vegetable Focaccia Sandwich

Many people prefer smaller portions during the warm weather, choosing food that will not sit heavily in the stomach. As a result, finger foods, salads and vegetables are especially popular in the summertime.

Roasted or grilled vegetables can be delicious and filling. Whether served over rice or the "meat" of a sandwich, vegetables like mushrooms, zucchini and eggplant make versatile additions to any recipe.

This summer, add more versatile veggies to your diet with the following recipe for "Roasted Vegetable Focaccia Sandwich" from "The Pampered Chef Stoneware Inspirations" (The Pampered Chef(R), Ltd).

Roasted Vegetable Focaccia Sandwich

1 medium eggplant
1 large zucchini
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, pressed
Salt and coarsely ground black pepper
2 balls fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
1 medium tomato, sliced
1 loaf focaccia bread, about 12 ounces
1/4 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves

1. Preheat oven to 450 F. Cut eggplant and zucchini crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Combine eggplant zucchini and oil in a mixing bowl. Press garlic into mixing bowl using a garlic press; toss to coat. Season with salt and black pepper.

2. Arrange vegetables in a single layer on a stoneware pan. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender and deep golden brown. Remove from oven to a cooling rack.

3. Meanwhile, cut mozzarella and tomato into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Cut bread in half horizontally. Spread mayonnaise on cut surfaces.

4. To assemble sandwich, arrange basil leaves, vegetables, tomato slices and mozzarella slices over bottom half of bread. Top with top half of bread. Cut into slices and serve six. Enjoy on a picnic or on the patio.