I hope everyone had a great 4th of July! We’re heading back from our cabin today for a brief respite of traveling before heading back to Chico and our favorite brewery, Sierra Nevada, on Saturday and then off to Lake Tahoe to celebrate our anniversary on Tuesday–it’s definitely been a fun, but busy couple of weeks. I think I could use a nap! I’ll have lots more to tell you as soon as I get all of the pictures and recipes sorted out, but for now, I thought I’d share with you a sandwich I made before heading to the cabin earlier this week.
I love going home because that means I get to use my parents’ much larger and much nicer kitchen–I’m like a kid in a candy store! And with a fully stocked fridge to assist my needs, I must say I’m more than pretty content.
So, after a long day of Costco and Whole Foods 4th of July prep shopping, we headed home for a nice homemade lunch. My mom and I had both seen some delicious looking grilled mediterranean veggie sandwiches in May’s Sunset magazine and decided they would serve as perfect inspiration for our own lunch.
My parents also have a pretty elaborate vegetable garden, so we were able to add some fresh squash to our store bought zucchini, portabella mushrooms, and red onions to create the bulk of the sandwich.
The Sunset recipe called for a homemade garlic aioli, but we already had some pre-made vegan garlic aioli in the fridge that we mixed with the perfect amount of pesto. To complete the sandwiches, I used a little roasted red bell pepper and chipotle spread for just a hint of smokiness, a bit of goat cheese (my favorite!), and some fresh arugula.
My parents’ also have a panini press like ours, so we finished the sandwiches with a quick press in the panini pan, and we had a gourmet vegetarian lunch in under 20 minutes.
I can’t wait for what I get to cook in this kitchen next!
Grilled Veggie Paninis
Makes 2 paninis
2 small ciabatta rolls
1 small squash, sliced
1 small round zucchini, sliced
1 large portabella mushroom (or a few small ones)
1/4 red onion, sliced
1/2 cup arugula
2 tablespoons goat cheese
2 tablespoons roasted bell pepper & chipotle spread (we used this)
2 tablespoons garlic aioli (we used this)
1 tablespoon pesto
1 tablespoon olive oil
Heat olive oil in a medium frying pan. Add squash, zucchini, mushrooms, and red onion, and saute until onions are translucent and veggies are soft, about 5 minutes.
Heat panini pan.
In a small bowl, combine garlic aioli with pesto and mix well.
For each panini, spread pesto aioli mixture on the bottom half of the ciabatta and the bell pepper chipotle spread on the top half.. Add goat cheese on top of the bell pepper spread.
Top with the bottom half of the ciabatta (the side with pesto aioli) with sauteed veggies and arugula then top with the other half of the ciabatta.
Place sandwich in the panini pan and press until the bread warms and grill lines appear, about 3 minutes. Carefully flip the sandwich and repeat.
Remove panini, cut in half, and enjoy!
Time: 20 minutes