Although I had beef with Quizno's Toasty Bullet subs, I really enjoyed the Pesto Turkey flavor. The anise-tinged flecks of basil and pine nut reminded me how much I love spreading a little bit of pesto in sandwiches. And ever since PartySugar made better-than-store bought homemade pesto, I've been inspired to incorporate the same elements into dinners I savor at home.

Everything's coming together this weekend, when I light the coals to make these basic — but far from blasé — zucchini grilled cheeses. They're a snap to put together, and perfect for my vegetarian friends. See the recipe.

Grilled Gruyere & Zucchini Pesto Sandwiches

Grilled Gruyere & Zucchini Pesto Sandwiches


  1. 1 packed cup basil leaves
  2. 1 large garlic clove, coarsely chopped
  3. 1/2 teaspoon hot smoked paprika
  4. 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
  5. Salt
  6. One 8-ounce zucchini, cut into 4 lengthwise slices
  7. 4 English muffins, split
  8. 4 ounces Gruyère cheese, cut into 8 thin slices


  1. In a food processor, combine the basil, garlic and paprika and process until finely chopped. With the machine on, gradually pour in the 3 tablespoons of olive oil until blended. Season the pesto with salt.
  2. Light a grill. Brush the zucchini slices with olive oil and season with salt. Grill over high heat until nicely charred and just tender, about 2 minutes per side. Cut each zucchini slice in half crosswise.
  3. Grill the English muffins, cut side down, over low heat, until just soft, about 30 seconds. Turn and grill until the muffins start to brown, about 1 minute. Spread the cut sides of the muffins with the pesto. Layer 1 slice of cheese, 2 zucchini pieces and 1 more slice of cheese on the bottom halves of each muffin. Close the sandwiches and brush the tops and bottoms with olive oil. Grill the sandwiches over low heat, turning, until they’re crisp on the outside and the cheese is melted, about 4 minutes total. Cut the sandwiches in half and serve right away.

Serves 4.

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