This recipe courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis. This is a tasty way to work veggies into your diet. It's pretty easy to make, loaded with flavor, and also filling!
Grilled vegetable panini
- 1⁄4 cup olive oil
- 2 small Japanese eggplants or 1 large regular eggplant, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
- 2 zucchini, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
- 1 small red onion, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
- salt & freshly ground black pepper
- 2 French baguettes (each about 2 feet long)
- 1⁄2 cup basil pesto, recipe follows
- 8 ounces water-packed fresh mozzarella cheese, drained, sliced
- 2 tomatoes, sliced
- 1⁄2 cup roasted red pepper
- 8 large basil leaves (optional)
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves
- 1⁄4 cup toasted pine nuts
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1⁄3 cup about extra virgin olive oil
- 1⁄2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- For Panini:.
- Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Drizzle the oil over the eggplant, zucchini, and onion slices, then sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Working in batches, grill the eggplant, zucchini, and onions until they are tender and grill marks appear, about 4 minutes per side.
- Cool completely.
- Cut each baguette into 6 pieces.
- Working with one baguette piece at a time, slice in half and spread both sides with the pesto.
- Working with the bottom slice of the baguette, stack 2 slices of eggplant, 2 slices zucchini, 1 slice onion, 1 slice tomato, 1 slice mozzarella, and 1 slice of roasted pepper.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Place top half of baguette on top and continue with remaining baguette.
- (The sandwiches can be made 4 hours ahead. Wrap well with plastic wrap and refrigerate.).
- For Basil Pesto:.
- In a blender, pulse the basil, pine nuts, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper until finely chopped.
- With the blender still running, gradually add enough oil to form a smooth and thick consistency.
- Transfer the pesto to a medium bowl and stir in 1/2 cup of cheese.
- Season the pesto with more salt and pepper, to taste.
- (The pesto can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)
- Yields 1 cup and takes about 10 minutes to prepare.
I had all of the ingredients on hand, so this was fairly easy to make. I did cheat and use some pesto I had just bought. I scaled it down for lunch for one and used yellow squash instead of zucchini. This made a yummy sandwich that I really had to hold together so as not to be too messy! Thank you Juenessa, this made a great lunch! :lol: