Roasted Vegetable Panini

As of late, I have no desire to eat meat.  Its not that I am going vegetarian, but the thought of chicken, beef, or pork just does not sound appetizing.  What’s wrong with me!?!  I mean tuna doesn’t even sound great and I LOVE TUNA…seriously, I should probably have my mecury levels checked from the amount I have eaten in my life.  I have literally promised my mom to eat less of the stuff because of the mecury problem…sigh.  However, I am the girl who has turned her self orange from eating too many carrots…so when I like something I tend to go overboard. 

Ok enough about my weird food fixations.  So, what does a girl eat when the main course is no longer appealing?  She visits the produce isle with a new zeal. 

As of late, I have discovered the wonders of roasting vegetables.  I have tossed them with pasta, brown rice, or just eaten them plain.  That’s the great thing with veggies, you can eat plate fulls without feeling guilty for overeating.  Oh and you get all the healthy perks too!  Sometimes though, you want a sandwich.  Today I wanted a sandwich. 

 I have never made a sandwich without some sort of protein, I have ordered them yes, but made one, never!  Thinking back to those purchases, my favorite was the roasted vegetable panini.  Right up my alley, ya know with the roasting obsession and all.

I was planning on using ciabatta bread, but decided to use what I already had at home.  Ezekiel bread it is.  I think any hearty bread would work.  I don’t have a panini press so I dug out my George Forman grill and it worked like a charm.  A grill plate would work well too, using a heavy object to squish the sandwich.  Just remember to flip the sandwich, so both sides get grilled. 

I roasted enough vegetables to feed an army, so I forsee a few more sandwiches in my future 🙂  The next one, I might add mozzeralla to help congeal the whole lovely mess together.   Or you might try stuffing all the veggies into a warm pita!  Other than that I wouldn’t change a darn thing!

Ingredients

  • 2 slices Ezekiel bread or any hearty bread
  • 1 egg plant, cut into 1/4 inch slices – I salted these and left them in a collander over the sink for 30 minutes.  This pulls the moisture out of the eggplant that is said to be bitter (more so the larger it is)…this step can be skipped if no time!
  • 1/2 red onion, thin to medium slices
  • ≈ 1 Cup mushrooms
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper (yellow or orange would work too), seeded
  • 1 Tablespoon of pesto
  • 1-2 Tablespoons softened cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 2-3 Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper

 

Directions

(seems long, but not really.  Just have to prepare vegetables before building sandwich)

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F
  2. Once drained, place eggplant and red onions on baking sheet and toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Roast for 10-15  minutes, until eggplant is tender and onions begin to caramelize.  Remove from oven and set aside
  3. While they are in the oven,  place the mushrooms, garlic, 1 Tablespoon of olive oil, and butter in a small saucepan/skillet and cook over medium heat.  Cook for about 10 -15 minutes or until they too are tender.  Stir often.  Set aside when done.
  4. Turn oven to broil (once other veggies are done roasting)
  5. Place bell pepper skin side up on baking sheet.  Sprinkle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. 
  6. Broil for a few minutes until skin starts to blacken.  Keep close attention to oven when broiling.  It can go very wrong very fast!
  7. Remove from oven and let rest for a few minutes before removing the skin. 
  8. While the red peppers are resting, prepare the cream cheese spread.
  9. Mix cream cheese with pesto.  Simple.
  10. Heat George Forman grill, grill pan, or panini press.
  11. Build sandwich.  Spread half of cream cheese mixture on each side of bread slices.  Layer the vegetables onto bread…this will resemble a vegetable Jenga.  Pile as high as you wish.  Top with other slice of bread.
  12. Place sandwich onto grill and close lid, pressing down.  If you piled your sandwich like I did then some veggies will slip out.  Ah well!  Grill until bread becomes toasted and the veggies rewarmed through.
  13. Transfer to plate and cut in half.  Enjoy!

Published by Mallory

A twenty - something (at least for a little while longer) trying to squeeze the most out of life...but mainly baking/cooking up a storm in my kitchen while watching Netflix.

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