Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Roasted Vegetable Panini

I'm not a big meat eater. I never have been and I never will be. I don't like burgers. I know for all of you burger loving fans out there, it's an atrocity. And for all of you vegans and vegetarians, you're probably loving it. But I never understood that whole burger craving. I crave peanut butter and chocolate. Never a burger. They always smell good, but I never like the taste of them. To me they are like coffee. The smell and the flavor are completely different. Once my former husband thought he could convince me that I would like them if he put all my favorite fixings one them, grilled mushrooms,  onions, and cheddar cheese. I took one bite and said that it would be great if the ground beef patty weren't there. I do like chicken, but sometimes I just don't want meat. Any meat at all.

In walks my vegetable panini. Not only is this an easy panini that can be made several different ways, but the house smells great while they are roasting. If you haven't noticed my most sensitive senses are my sense of smell and taste. My boyfriend is always commenting that it's not normal that I can smell garbage that is sealed in a plastic bag in the trash can or someone smoking a cigarette on the highway with the windows rolled up in the car in front of us. It's my spidey sense. I can't help it. As you know your sense of smell goes along with your sense of taste. I think I might be one of those super tasters.

Back to making the panini. First things first is deciding what veggies you like. I prefer eggplant, zucchini or squash, onions, mushrooms, red peppers and tomatoes. Unfortunately I didn't have all of those ingredients on hand, but I did have several. I had never put roasted tomatoes on a sandwich before, so I wasn't sure how it was going to taste. Wait, let me back up. I've used the oil packed kind and the dry packed ones from the store, but never ones I actually roasted. Usually when I make roasted veggies, I don't add tomatoes. Well, from now on it's a must. It totally made the sandwich. Without them, it would have just been blah.

Roasted Vegetable Panini

Yield: depends on how many vegetables you roast
Prep time: 20-30 minutes
Cook time: two hours 
Total time: 2 hours, 30 minutes


Roasted Vegetables

Grape tomatoes
Zucchini/ squash
Red Pepper
Portabella mushroom
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and pepper

2 Slices of bread of your choice (I used a garlic loaf, but a sourdough would be great)

Basil pesto
Mozzarella cheese


1. Preheat the oven to 250°.

2. Slice the vegetables and place on a cookie sheet (or two). Try not to over lap. Sprinkle on spices and olive oil. Bake for two hours.

3. Spread pesto on one side of a slice of bread. Top with vegetables, cheese and other slice.

4. Grill over medium heat until golden brown and cheese has melted or put in your panini press.


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