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Summer Vegetable Sandwich

(Serves 4)
Summer Vegetable Sandwich
Sandwiches are perfect for summertime lunches and picnics because they are easy to make and easy to eat.  These vegetable sandwiches are packed with the flavors of fresh ripe summer tomatoes and basil along with artichokes, olives, fennel and eggs layered in a ciabatta bread with a spicy vinaigrette.  Scooping out part of the inside of the ciabatta bread allows for a better filling-to-bread ratio but you can leave it in if you prefer. 

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon anchovy paste
1 garlic clove, minced
Salt and pepper
2 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced
3/4 cup canned artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup black olives, coarsely chopped
1 loaf ciabatta bread
1/2 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
2 cold hard-boiled eggs, sliced
12 basil leaves


In a medium bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons of olive oil, red wine vinegar, mustard, anchovy paste, garlic, salt and pepper.  Add the tomatoes, artichokes, and olives; toss to coat.  Set aside for 5-10 minutes.

Cut the ciabatta bread in half lengthwise.  Remove the insides of the bread leaving a 1/2-thick shell.  Spoon the tomato mixture over the bottom half of the bread, leaving some of the juices in the bowl. Top with the fennel, egg and basil.  Stir the remaining tablespoon of olive oil into the reserved tomato juices.  Brush the mixture over the cut side of the top half of the bread.  Place the top half of the bread on the sandwich and gently press down to compress all the ingredients.  Cut into 4 pieces to serve.
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