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Grilled Chicken Ciabatta with Romesco Sauce and Baby Greens
Grilled Chicken Ciabatta with Romesco Sauce and Baby Greens Photo courtesy of Steve Legato

For anyone who thinks grilling revolves around meaty hamburgers and saucy ribs, Karen Adler and Judith Fertig’s The Gardener & the Grill is a revelation. In their new cookbook, the barbecue experts share a garden-to-grill approach to cooking everything from appetizers to desserts using ingredients you grow at home. Consider the duo’s variation on the standard grilled chicken sandwich, which puts homegrown, grill-roasted red peppers to good use in a bold Spanish romesco sauce. (Of course, you can substitute jarred roasted red bell peppers if you lack a green thumb.) Serve the sandwich with a side of grilled asparagus for a garden-fresh dinner cooked entirely outdoors.

Makes 4 sandwiches

Romesco Sauce

¼ cup slivered almonds, toasted

1 grill-roasted red bell pepper or jarred roasted red bell pepper, coarsely chopped

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

½ slice white bread--crust removed, toasted and crumbled (about ¼ cup)

1½ teaspoons roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

¼ teaspoon red-pepper flakes

2½ tablespoons plus ½ teaspoon red wine vinegar

⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Grilled Chicken Ciabatta

4 ciabatta rolls, halved lengthwise

Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, each pounded to ½-inch thick

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Manchego or Parmesan cheese, for shaving

2 cups baby greens

1. Make the romesco sauce: In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the almonds until finely ground. Add the pepper, garlic, bread, parsley and red-pepper flakes. Blend until it becomes a paste. Add the vinegar and pulse to blend. With the motor running, drizzle in the olive oil until the mixture thickens like mayonnaise. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

2. Make the sandwiches: Prepare a hot fire in your grill. Brush the cut sides of the rolls with olive oil. Brush the chicken breasts with olive oil on both sides and season with salt and pepper. Grill the chicken, turning once, until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Grill the rolls, cut sides down, until they have good grill marks, about 2 minutes.

3. Slather the insides of the rolls with the romesco sauce, dividing it equally among the rolls. Place a chicken breast on the bottom half of each roll, shave some cheese over the chicken, then top with the baby greens and top half of the roll. Serve immediately.

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