Frugal Foodie Mama at the BFM: Italian Steak Sandwiches with Roasted Vegetable Tapenade

Bob’s Note: It’s time once again for our monthly installment from the Frugal Foodie Mama, Carrie Robinson. For August it’s her take on a local classic that has been a prime staple on restaurant menus around the region for decades, the Italian Steak Sandwich. Be sure to visit both Carrie’s Facebook page and her website for lots of great cooking tips year-round.


If you visit the Bridgeport Farmers Market on any given Sunday during their outdoor season, you are sure to find at least 20 different local farmers selling their freshly picked vegetables and pasture raised eggs & meats from baskets and coolers at various tables throughout the market. I am on a mission this outdoor farmers market season to show you how you can create a delicious meal purchasing only locally grown & raised produce and meats at the market this summer. Each month I will be sharing a recipe to the Bridgeport Farmers Market blog inspired by and featuring some of my favorite fresh & local finds from the market.

For the month of August, I am sharing the recipe for these super flavorful Italian Steak Sandwiches with Roasted Vegetable Tapenade with you all. Most of us are familiar with the traditional steak hoagie that is usually on the menu at many local restaurants in the area. This sandwich is my farmers market take on this local favorite.


Instead of peppers in sauce, this steak sandwich is slathered in a rich & flavor packed roasted vegetable tapenade made from fresh vegetables & garlic that I picked up from the market. Oven roasting the veggies really brings out their natural sweetness as they caramelize & gives them a deep flavor. To make this sandwich a even more farmers market fresh, I swapped the usual cheese for some fresh basil leaves. But you could totally add your favorite cheese to this sandwich as well.

Be sure to save any leftover tapenade! It can be stored covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. It is excellent spread on your favorite crusty bread or as a dip for tortilla or pita chips.


This month’s recipe features fresh produce & beef from Green Acres Farm, Hawthorne Valley Farm, Richardson’s Farm, & Radabaugh Farms. Be sure to stop by their tables during your next visit to the Bridgeport Farmers Market, & tell them I sent you. 😉


Italian Steak Sandwiches with Roasted Vegetable Tapenade

by Carrie Robinson

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Ingredients (Serves 4):

  • 1 small zucchini from Green Acres Farm, chopped
  • 1 small summer squash from Richardson’s Farm, chopped
  • 3 small red & orange sweet peppers from Radabaugh Farms, chopped
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic from Richardson’s Farms, peeled
  • 1 cup of cherry tomatoes from Green Acres Farms (half the larger ones, smaller ones can stay whole)
  • 1/4 cup + 3 tbsp (divided) of good quality olive oil
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1 lb of thinly sliced hoagie beef from Hawthorne Valley Farm
  • 1 loaf of Italian bread, cut into 4 piece & then sliced horizontally
  • Fresh basil leaves


Preheat your oven to 475 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with a piece of aluminum foil. Set aside.

In a large bowl, toss together the chopped zucchini & summer squash, chopped peppers, garlic cloves, & cherry tomatoes with 2 tbsp of olive oil. Turn the vegetables onto the prepared baking sheet in a single layer. Roast the veggies for 25-30 minutes until they are somewhat caramelized & dark golden in color, stirring occasionally. Allow to cool to warm.

Transfer the roasted veggies to a large food processor. Pour in the 1/4 cup olive oil. Pulse to chop until smooth, yet slightly chunky. Season with salt & pepper to taste. Set aside.

In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the hoagie meat in batches, cooking 2-3 minutes per side depending on the thickness of the slices. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate once cooked through.

To assemble the sandwiches:

Pile 1/4 lb. of the hoagie meat onto each bottom slice of the Italian loaf. Top with 4-5 large fresh basil leaves. Spread 3-4 tbsp of the tapenade onto each top slice of the Italian loaf. Place the top slice with the tapenade on top of the slice with the beef & basil leaves.

Serve immediately. Enjoy!

Click HERE for a printable copy of the recipe.


Thanks, Carrie!

Until next week, Stay Fresh!


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