Delicious Panini with Grilled Vegetables
This is a fast panini recipe with grilled vegetables that goes together fast but still tastes great. Use a take and bake type of ciabatta bread for the best results. It adds a little to the prep time, but the improved taste is worth it. Of course, if you are pressed for time, any ordinary ciabatta or other flat bread will work well, too.
Like many other panini recipes, this one is best if you serve it right away, although it is still pretty good cold. Do not skimp on the quality of your ingredients – fresh mozzarella is better, as are good quality vegetables. Make it right, and you will certainly taste the difference. If you are looking for a vegetarian option that is not boring, this one is an excellent choice.
Although we are moving away from the classic pizza recipe quite a lot and stretching the definition of ‘pizza’ to perhaps its absolute limit, if a pizza teams a crust with toppings then this does fit the description of pizza, except the crust goes either side of the topping (or ‘filling’ as it technically is instead).
The ingredients are Italian through and through. Even if you use another kind of bread over ciabatta, the mozzarella and basil are typically Italian and the vegetables can all be found in Italian recipes as well. This makes a lovely lunch or you could enjoy it for dinner with a side dish, or even as a late night snack if you are in the mood for something deliciously different.
- 1 loaf ciabatta bread
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 medium zucchini
- 1 medium summer squash
- 1 small eggplant
- 1 small red bell pepper
- 4 slices fresh mozzarella cheese
- 8 large fresh basil leaves
- Bake ciabatta according to instructions, and slice bread in half lengthwise.
- Cut eggplant and squash into slices a quarter inch thick, and seed and quarter red pepper. Whisk together pepper, oil, and vinegar. Brush this mixture onto both sides of each vegetable slice and place in a broiler pan in one layer, or on a hot grill. Cool for eight minutes, turning once, or until cooked through.
- Crosscut bread into four servings and arrange vegetables on bottom pieces.
- Places slices of mozzarella over the vegetables and place the sandwiches in a pan under the broiler until cheese is melted. Top with fresh basil leaves and cover with top slice of bread. Serve hot!
This unusual recipe combines ciabatta bread with vegetables, cheese and fresh basil, to make a delicious version of double-crust pizza. In the photo we have used flatbread rather than ciabatta but if you want the chewy, fluffy ciabatta texture, use that instead. The vegetables look bright and fresh, and you can also see the mozzarella. This makes a lovely dish for 4 people, or you could make double if you are feeding a crowd. Served hot or chilled, this is healthy and satisfying, and you will love how the Italian flavors combine and make something really special to melt in your mouth.
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