Grilled Chicken Sandwich with Ricotta and Zucchini

We don’t really eat that many sandwiches around here, and I’m not really sure why that is.  I mean, we like sandwiches, but I rarely think to serve them, except if you consider a burger a sandwich, which I guess it technically is.  But then the other day as I was pondering what to make for dinner, I was surprised to find myself responding to my query by suggesting that perhaps a nice sandwich would be good.  Hmmmmm.  (I’m not the only one who has these conversations with their self, right?)

But this could not just be a few slices of lunch meat between bread kind of sandwich.  No, what I was looking for was something sophisticated, layered, flavorful and well, delicious.  So I opened up the sandwich file and saw this little gem of a recipe hopping up and down in the back squealing “Oh, pick me!, pick me!”  So I did.

Excellent choice.  This is one good sandwich, people.  We’ve got a grilled chicken breast layered with lemon-scented ricotta cheese with grated zucchini and parmesan cheese and tomato, and all this is sandwiched between two beautiful slices of homemade foccacia bread still warm from the oven.

I cannot say enough about how delicious that ricotta cheese was in this.  I LOVED the lemon, but my husband thought I may have overdosed it a little.  I do that sometimes. 

The recipe calls for 1 tsp of grated lemon peel, and I may or may not have put in quite a bit more than that.  You can decide for yourself how much lemon presence you would like.  (but it was really good).

Whether you’re a regular sandwich-maker, or maybe need some sandwich inspiration, this could be just the ticket.  It’s definitely showing up again here.

Grilled Chicken Sandwich with Ricotta and Zucchini

Printable Recipe

2 medium zucchini, shredded

2 teaspoons salt

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 15-ounce container whole-milk ricotta cheese

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon grated lemon peel

4 5x4-inch pieces focaccia or ciabatta bread, halved horizontally

2 large tomatoes, thinly sliced

4 roasted chicken breasts, skinned, boned, thinly sliced crosswise (I pounded the chicken breasts to an even thickness and then grilled them).

1 Mix zucchini and salt in medium bowl. Transfer to a colander; set over bowl. Let stand 15 minutes to drain liquid from zucchini. Rinse and drain zucchini. Squeeze zucchini to remove liquid. (Can use a potato ricer.)

2. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add zucchini and sauté 2 minutes (I skipped this step.  The zucchini doesn't really need cooking).   Remove pan to a bowl, cool slightly. Add ricotta, Parmesan and lemon peel to zucchini. Stir to blend. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 

3 Preheat broiler. Arrange bread pieces cut side up on baking sheet. Broil bread just until lightly toasted. Spread ricotta mixture generously over 8 focaccia pieces. Broil until ricotta mixture is heated through and beginning to brown in spots, about 4 minutes.

4 Top 4 bread pieces with tomato slices, then with chicken slices, dividing equally. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover with remaining 4 bread pieces, ricotta-mixture side down. Cut sandwiches diagonally in half and serve.

Makes 4 servings.

Adapted from Bon Appetit