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Grilled Vegetable and Cheese Panini

Grilled Vegetable and Cheese Panini
A mandoline makes it easy to cut the vegetables into thin, uniform slices for this grilled sandwich.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Asian eggplant, cut into 8 slices, each 4 inches
      long and 1/4 inch thick
  • 2 small zucchini, cut lengthwise into 8 slices
      total, each 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 8 slices,
      each 1/4 inch thick
  • 3 Tbs. spring onion dipping oil, plus more for
      brushing
  • 1 1/2 tsp. herbes de Provence
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 8 slices country-style bread, each 3/4 inch thick
  • 6 Tbs. olive tapenade (see related recipe at
      right)
  • 7 1/2 oz. Abbaye de Belloc or other sheeps milk
      cheese, thinly sliced

Directions:

Preheat an electric panini press according to the manufacturers instructions.

In a bowl, stir together the eggplant, zucchini, bell pepper, the 3 Tbs. dipping oil, the herbes de Provence, salt and pepper. Working in batches, grill the vegetables on the preheated panini press, turning once, until tender, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.

Brush one side of each bread slice with dipping oil. Lay the slices, oiled side down, on a clean work surface. Spread each of 4 slices with 1 1/2 Tbs. tapenade. Top with 2 slices of each vegetable. Arrange the cheese on top, dividing evenly. Top each with one of the remaining bread slices, oiled side up.

Place the sandwiches on the preheated panini press and cook according to the manufacturers instructions until the bread is golden and the cheese is melted, 3 to 5 minutes.

Transfer the sandwiches to a cutting board and cut in half. Serve immediately. Serves 4.
Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.