Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Vegetarian Paninis

Here is another one of my panini recipes. This one features grilled portabello and zucchini, which I marinated first, provolone cheese and a sundried tomato pesto. And tomorrow I plan to use the remaining pesto on some pasta. Double duty again ladies. That's how I roll.

For the panini
4 slices of hearty, multigrain bread
2 slices provolone cheese
2 Tbsp prepared sundried tomato pesto (see below)
2 portabello mushrooms
1 zucchini, cut in half and then thinly sliced, but not paper thin
balsamic vinegar (eyeball it, enough to coat the veggies)
olive oil (same as the vinegar)
1 tsp dried oregano
2 small cloves of garlic, minced or run through a press
salt and pepper

In a large plastic bag, place the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper. Add the portabellos and zucchini to the bag. Toss around to coat. Allow to marinate for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the sundried tomato pesto.

Remove the vegetables from the bag and dab-off some of the excess liquid. Heat a grill pan over medium heat. Spray with Pam. Place the vegetables on the pan and cook until tender, flipping halfway through, about 10 minutes.

The mushrooms will release a lot of liquid, so place on some paper towels to drain a bit. Now to build the sandwich: first, take two slices of bread and drizzle with olive oil, flip over; next, place a piece of provolone on each; then the zucchini and mushroom; next, take two more pieces of bread and spread with an even layer of pesto; flip the bread, pesto side down onto the mushroom; lastly, drizzle the top piece of bread with olive oil. Place the sandwich on a hot panini press until golden brown.

If you don't have a panini press, you can place in a hot pan and weigh it down with another pan, then flip to cook the other side. (I suggest purchasing a panini press. I love mine.)

For the Sundried Tomato Pesto
1 cup sundried tomatoes, in oil
1 Tbsp pine nuts, toasted
1/2 cup basil
1/2 cup parmesan
3 garlic cloves
3/4 cup olive oil (I used some of the sundried tomato oil)

Toast the pine nuts in a pan over medium heat until golden brown. Place all the ingredients, except the olive oil into a food processor and blend until all the ingredients are finely chopped. Now, while the processor is turned on, slowly stream in the oil, until well incorporated.

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