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Grilled Vegetable and Goat Cheese Panini

July 20, 2010

Okay, so this isn’t so much a recipe, or all that original, but it’s a super fast and simple dinner or lunch that’s

goat cheese and vegetable panini

really delicious.  I had some leftover pesto, so I added that,  but I think they would be delicious without.  I originally decided to make paninis when I saw panini bread at the farmer’s market (not ciabatta, but flatbreads).  When I went to buy them, they were in huge packs I could never use up and were pretty high in fat and calories.  I spied some nice looking pitas and thought those would work well too.  I loved how crispy the pitas got and thing they’re perfect for making a panini.   I served this with Smitten Kitchen’s chickpea salad.  Makes 4 panini.

Ingredients:

2 portobello mushrooms, stem removed and cut into 3/4″ slices

2 medium zucchini, sliced lengthwise into 1/3″ slices

1 yellow squash, sliced lengthwise into 1/3″ slices

1 red or yellow bell pepper, roasted, then cut into 8 slices

1 log goat cheese, herbed or plain

2 T mixed fresh herbs (parsley, thyme, dill, etc.)

4 T pesto, optional

Oil for grilling

Salt and pepper to taste

4 white or wheat pitas

Directions:

Toss sliced vegetables with a couple tablespoons of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.  Heat a large grill pan over high head.  When hot, place vegetables (zucchini, squash and mushrooms) in a single layer on the pan and cook over high heat.  Flip after about 4 minutes, or when grill marks appear on the vegetables.  Grill the other side until vegetables are tender.  Remove and repeat with remaining vegetables until all are cooked.

In a small bowl, mix goat cheese with herbs and set aside.

To assemble the panini, spread one side of panini with 1/4 of the goat cheese.  Layer 2 pieces of roasted pepper, 2 slices zucchini, 1 slice squash and a couple of pieces of mushroom until you have a nice layer of vegetables.  Dollop about two tablespoons of pesto on top of the vegetables.  Fold the pita over the top of the vegetables and assemble remaining sandwiches.

To cook the panini: clean out the grill pan and place over medium high heat.  When hot, grease the grill pan and place 2 panini (or however many you can fit) in the pan.  Take another skillet that fits in the pan and place on top of the paninis.  Add a couple of cans or a brick to weigh the paninis down while they cook.  Cook for about 4 minutes, until there are grill marks on the bottom of the panini.  Remove the weighted pan, flip the panini, and replace the weighted pan.  Cook until there are grill marks on the other side of the panini, and they are heated through, about 4 more minutes.  Repeat with remaining sandwiches and serve.

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