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Gerson’s Garden Recipe: Summer Vegetable Sandwich

Featured in our latest issue of Shorelines, Bill and Siri Wilkinson offer some of their favorite summer picnic recipes. The Wilkinsons own and operate Gerson’s Garden, a beloved restaurant in Roanoke serving vegetarian dishes. Check out Gerson’s Garden here.

Summer Vegetable Sandwich – Serves 8


  • 8 ciabatta rolls
  • Spinach and artichoke spread (recipe below)
  • Balsamic cucumber and tomato salad (recipe below)
  • Fresh tomatoes
  • Fresh arugula


  1. Slice ciabatta rolls in half and spread 1/8 of the spinach artichoke spread on the bottom half.
  2. Add one fresh tomato slice.
  3. Layer with fresh arugula.
  4. Top with 1/8 of the balsamic cucumber and tomato salad
  5. Add top half of ciabatta roll and serve.

Tip: For kid-friendly sandwiches, replace ciabatta rolls with whole wheat wraps or hamburger slider buns.

Spinach and Artichoke Spread


  • 1 8-ounce bag frozen organic spinach
  • 1 4-ounce jar marinated artichoke hearts
  • 1 8-ounce block low-fat cream cheese (softened)
  • ¼ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup ricotta cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1⁄8 teaspoon onion powder
  • Black pepper (to taste)


  1. Cook spinach according to package directions.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Mix at medium speed with a mixer until all ingredients are well-blended. Serve warm or cold.

Balsamic Cucumber and Tomato Salad


  • 3 cucumbers
  • 3 tomatoes
  • ½ small red onion
  • ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon garlic
  • 5 leaves fresh basil (finely diced)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Juice of ¼ lemon


  1. Dice cucumbers, tomatoes and onion and place in medium-size bowl.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and gently toss until vegetables are well-coated. For best results, make the day before to let the flavors develop.

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