This focaccia sandwich is loaded with roasted veggies and a delicious rocket pesto!
Focaccia really is one of the most glorious varieties of bread isn’t it? Typically you’d find me plunging chunks of it into a dip of some variety, but today we’re turning into a ridiculously delicious sandwich. Follow me…
If you’ve been a reader of mine for a while, you know I’m a fan of adding rocket to sandwiches. The light and crisp texture, the peppery flavour. It’s always a winner. However in this case it just doesn’t work because the sandwich is served warm, meaning the rocket just steams and wilts.
Instead, we’re going to turn the rocket into a pesto. This adds a crazy amount of flavour to the sandwich and really brings out the best in the rocket.
Rocket Pesto Ingredients
- Rocket – Or ‘Arugula’ depending on where you are in the world.
- Parmesan – Freshly grated, don’t use the powdered stuff. It’ll alter the texture and flavour too much.
- Walnuts – Optionally toasted (make sure they’re shelled).
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Make sure it’s ‘Extra Virgin’, not just regular olive oil. Extra virgin has a much more intense flavour and is a more classic option for pesto.
- Garlic – Just a small clove will do the trick.
- Salt & Black Pepper – To taste.
Can I make this ahead of time?
If you want to get ahead of the game you can absolutely make this pesto ahead of time! This recipe will make a big batch, so you can also store leftovers (more on this in the recipe card notes below).
Process shots: gather ingredients (photo 1), add everything to a food processor apart from the oil (photo 2), turn on motor and slowly add oil (photo 3).
For the roasted vegetables you can really use whatever kind of veg you fancy. Here I’m using mushrooms, aubergine/eggplant, courgette/zucchini, onion and pepper. Just a few things to consider:
- Timings – Different veg will cook at different rates. I.e root veg like sweet potatoes and carrots will take slightly longer than say broccoli or leeks. Doesn’t mean you can’t mix, just use separate trays.
- Space – In all cases try and space out the veg as best you can. Vegetables are typically packed with water, which they release as they roast. If the tray is piled full of veg it’s all going to steam and go soggy. You want the veg somewhat crisp and lightly charred (light charring adds flavour).
- Seasoning – I season all the veg with fresh garlic, salt and pepper, then toss it all in fresh parsley. This brings out the best in the veg!
Here I’ve roasted the mushrooms and courgette/zucchini on a separate tray, just because they both release the most moisture.
Process shots: toss veg in oil, garlic, salt and pepper then space out on trays (photos 1&2), roast then sprinkle over parsley (photo 3), toss to combine (photo 4).
What kind of Focaccia should I use?
You really want to go to a bakery or check the bakery section in the supermarket. Nearly all supermarkets sell pre-packaged focaccia, but it’s much thinner than freshly baked. The focaccia I usually get is from the bakery in Sainsbury’s – they do a nice big 14oz/400g loaf. In general though you can use any flavour you want. The one I used here was garlic and rosemary which worked perfectly.
The last piece to this sandwich masterpiece is crumbled feta. This not only compliments the focaccia, but also the veg and pesto. It adds a gorgeous salty hit of flavour to top the veg.
Process shots: warm focaccia (photo 1), slice in half (photo 2), spread pesto (photo 3), add veg and feta (photo 4), add focaccia (photo 5), slice (photo 6).
Serving Focaccia Sandwiches
I usually serve this as 3 very hearty sandwiches, but you can make 4 more modest ones if you’d prefer. Or, you can slice into mini sandwiches to feed 6 if you wanted!
Can I make this sandwich ahead of time?
I recommend serving this sandwich warm, so I don’t typically make it ahead of time. I love the warm crisp bread & veg, but strictly speaking you can allow everything to cool, then stack and tightly wrap in the fridge until needed. Eat cold or room temp.
Alrighty, let’s tuck into the full recipe for this focaccia sandwich shall we?!
How to make Roasted Vegetable Focaccia Sandwiches (Full Recipe & Video)
Roasted Vegetable Focaccia Sandwich
- 2 Baking Trays & Spatula/Turner (one large, one medium)
- Food Processor (for pesto)
- Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
- 5oz / 150g Baby Portobello Mushrooms, or other similar sized mushrooms
- 2 small Red Onions, peeled & quartered
- 2 Peppers, diced into large chunks
- 1 medium Eggplant/Aubergine, quartered lengthways & diced into chunks slightly smaller than the peppers
- 1 medium Zucchini/Courgette, quartered lengthways then diced into chunks same size as eggplant
- 3 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil, or as needed
- 3 cloves of Garlic, finely diced
- 1 heaped tbsp finely diced Fresh Parsley
- 1/2 tsp Salt, or to taste
- 1/4 tsp Black Pepper, or to taste
- 2oz / 60g Rocket/Arugula
- 1/2 cup / 60g Walnuts
- 1/2 cup / 40g freshly grated Parmesan
- 1/2 cup / 120ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil, or as needed
- 1 clove of Garlic
- 1/2 tsp Salt, or to taste
- 1/4 tsp Black Pepper, or to taste
- 14oz / 400g loaf of Focaccia (see notes)
- 1/4 cup / 35g Feta, crumbled (or to preference)
- Prep Veg: Preheat oven to 220C/425F. On a large baking tray combine eggplant/aubergine, onion and peppers with 2 tbsp oil, 2 finely diced cloves of garlic and a good pinch of salt and pepper. On a slightly smaller tray combine zucchini/courgette and mushrooms with 1 tbsp oil, 1 finely diced clove of garlic and a good pinch of salt and pepper.
- Roast Veg: Place both in the oven for 25-35mins, or until lightly charred and softened. I recommend flipping once around half way. After, scrape all the veg onto the same tray and toss in fresh parsley.
- Pesto: Meanwhile, add all of your pesto ingredients apart from the oil into a food processor. Turn on the motor and gradually pour in 1/2cup/120ml extra virgin olive oil, or until your desired texture. You may need to stop and scrape the sides with a spatula once or twice.
- Sandwich: Slice the focaccia horizontally through the centre. Spread the bottom half with pesto (don't feel like you have to use all of this), top with veg then sprinkle with feta. Place the other slice on top, then divide into 3 for big sandwiches, or 4 for slightly more modest ones. Enjoy!
Your Private Notes:
For more similar sandwiches check out these beauties:
- Antipasto Sandwich
- Bruschetta Grilled Cheese
- Ultimate Ciabatta Sandwich
- Portobello Mushroom Sandwich
If you loved this Focaccia Sandwich Recipe be sure to Pin it for later! Already made it or got a burning question? Give me a shout in the comments below!