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Vegetarian Croque Monsieur for #SundaySupper and #JuneDairyMonth

This post is sponsored by Florida Dairy Farmers in conjunction with a social media campaign through Sunday Supper LLC. All opinions are my own.

There are so many things to love about the month of June. It’s summer, it’s grilling season, everyone’s vibe seems to get a bit more relaxed. It’s also my birthday month, so I’m pretty biased towards loving this summer month. It also happens to be #JuneDairyMonth, and I am all about celebrating! Today’s recipe is one that features Florida Milk: this vegetarian croque monsieur will definitely knock your socks off with it’s goodness!

Vegetarian Croque Monsieur

Fun fact about me: I was never one of those kids that drank glasses of milk at meals. I did for a while when I was younger, but I grew out of it quickly (don’t get me wrong though – I am a sucker for a glass of milk paired with a fresh chocolate chip cookie). Instead, I have always been drawn to dishes that include milk as a main component. From sauces, to soups, to macaroni and cheese and more: I love milk! It’s not just for you to dunk your cookies or to pour over cereal. Today’s vegetarian croque monsieur is one of those dishes that makes me think of milk in a different way. At first glance, you might not even think that a main component of the sandwich is milk! If you have any doubt that milk is involved in a number of delicious recipes, make sure you check out the Florida Dairy Farmers’ website to get inspired.

Vegetarian Croque Monsieur

For now, let’s talk croque monsieurs. If you’re familiar with this sandwich you are aware that it typically involves ham and cheese. The traditional croque monsieur is a ham and cheese sandwich smothered in bechamel sauce and broiled to golden, gooey, crispy perfection. I remember enjoying one when we visited France years ago – it was heavenly! However, once I became a vegetarian this glorious sandwich faded to the background of my mind. Ham and cheese – that’s not going to happen anymore in my house. But I got to thinking: what was it I loved about the croque monsieur sandwich? It wasn’t the ham – it was the luscious, creamy, cheesy interior and exterior of the sandwich. So, why not take that portion of the sandwich and add some select vegetables to make my own vegetarian version? I tell you, sometimes the easiest solutions are the ones that take you the longest to think of.

Vegetarian Croque Monsieur

So – how in the world is this sandwich so creamy and delightful? Milk. The star component of this vegetarian croque monsieur is the bechamel sauce that is spread both inside the sandwich but also on top. Oh yes – that’s double the awesome right there.

Vegetarian Croque Monsieur

Is there anything more beautiful than a golden brown, ooey gooey sandwich?

Vegetarian Croque Monsieur

I will also vouch for how easy these sandwiches were to put together. I made a batch of four, but I very easily could have doubled the recipe to make a larger batch. Of course, since I made four to start I wasn’t able to eat them all at once, so I wrapped the leftovers up and reheated them in the oven later on. They were just as good reheated as they were when they were fresh out of the oven the first time. I’m keeping this in mind for the future! Another great aspect of these vegetarian sandwiches is that you can completely customize the vegetables you use inside! Pick your favorites, try some new combinations, it’s up to you!

I know I said it before, but the bechamel sauce in these vegetarian croque monsieurs is really what takes this dish over the top. The Florida milk I used is responsible. Before I moved to Florida I would have never thought that the state is responsible for so much milk production! In truth, Florida has over 100 dairy farm families, and over 120,000 dairy cows live in the state of Florida. Isn’t that cool? The statistics boggle my mind a little bit. And here’s one more that is impressive: those Florida dairy cows produce over 270 million gallons of fresh milk every year. That’s a lot of milk and a LOT of amazing recipes that can be created with it! You can learn more about Florida’s dairy farmers here, and more about their cows here.

Vegetarian Croque Monsieur

I’m pretty sure these vegetarian croque monsieurs are going to make appearances on my kitchen table many more times. They would be great for brunch, lunch, or even dinner! You can pair them with a fresh salad to balance out the cheese (at least, that’s what I did!), or with some chips, some extra roasted vegetables, and more!

Vegetarian Croque Monsieur

 

Vegetarian Croque Monsieur for #SundaySupper
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 medium zucchini, sliced thinly into ¼ inch strips
  • 2 red, orange, or yellow bell peppers, quartered
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • 1½ cups Florida Milk
  • 5 ounces Havarti cheese, shredded
  • 8 slices sourdough bread (or bread of choice)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Slice the zucchini into thin strips. Arrange on a baking sheet with the bell peppers. Brush with olive oil, season with salt and pepper to taste. Optional: add dried Italian seasonings (basil, oregano) as well to taste.
  3. Bake for about 20 min, until vegetables are tender and roasted. Remove from oven and set aside. When the peppers are cool enough to handle, slice into thin strips.
  4. To make the bechamel, melt the butter in a pot over medium heat until foamy. Add the all purpose flour. Cook/stir for about 2-3 minutes, until the mixture is foamy. Add the milk and continue cooking, stirring the mixture until it is thickened, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat.
  5. To assemble the sandwiches, line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread half of the bechamel sauce on the top of the 4 slices: place them bechamel side up on the baking sheet. Layer the zucchini and bell pepper on top of the bechamel, and then top with Havarti cheese (saving about ¼ of the cheese for the top of the sandwiches). Spread the remaining bechamel sauce on the other 4 slices of bread. Place them bechamel side up on top of the bottom half of the sandwiches. Top with the remaining Havarti cheese.
  6. Bake sandwiches for about 20-25 minutes, until golden brown and melted. Remove from oven, slice in half, and serve. Enjoy!

 

Undeniably Dairy

Are you ready to celebrate #JuneDairyMonth all month long? Get into the party spirit by learning more about milk and connecting with the Florida Dairy Farmers. You can find information on their website, become a fan on Facebook, see their photos on Instagram, get inspired on Pinterest, chat with them on Twitter, and view their videos on YouTube!

Oh, and you definitely need to get involved in the #JuneDairyMonth Instagram contest!

____________________________________________________________________

 

  • Contest sponsor: Florida Dairy Farmers
  • Contest dates: Contest runs from June 1st at 12:01am through June 30th at 11:59pm

    (1 winner each week & 1 grand prize winner)

  • To Enter:
    • Follow @floridamilk on Instagram
    • Share a photo on Instagram during the month of June showing us what you make with milk for June Dairy Month
    • Tag the photo @floridamilk and use the hashtag #JuneDairyMonth

    Prizes: Each contest week runs from 12:01am – 11:59pm

    • Week 1: June 1st-June 7th prize Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker
    • Week 2: June 8th-June 14th prize $50 Publix Gift Card
    • Week 3: June 15th-June 21st prize Vintage Milk Truck Cookie Jar
    • Week 4: June 22nd-June 28th prize BBQ Set in Wooden Carrying Case

    Grand Prize: All valid entries from June 1st – June 30th considered

    • A year supply of milk ($275 value)
    • A night for 4 at the Publix Apron Cooking School
    • Florida Dairy Farmers gift basket

    Winner notification & other rules:

 

  • Winner(s) will be chosen at random each week and contacted via Instagram direct message. Winner(s) have 48 hours to respond and claim the prize or another winner will be chosen.
  • Winner(s) will also be announced in the Sunday Supper Movement Newsletter in July
  • Must be US resident 18 years of age or older
  • This promotion is not sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated with Instagram

____________________________________________________________________

Make sure you check out all of the amazing recipes created with Florida Milk by my Sunday Supper family!

Sunday Supper Recipes Using Milk

Milk Recipes for Breakfast

Milk Recipes for Lunch

Milk Recipes for Dinner

Milk Recipes for Dessert

For more recipes and info, please visit the Undeniably Dairy website, and be sure to check out the YouTube channel!

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

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