Wednesday, January 13, 2010

italian pesto panini

my brother, who i dubbed 'produce boy' after he brought me 28 pounds of asparagus last year, came through in a big way for xmas this year. he gifted me with one bushel of zucchini and one of yellow squash. what a foodie's delight! i've diced and frozen several pounds for future meals, and have been busy eating my weight in zucchini before it goes bad. it's a good thing it's one of my absolute favourite vegetables. this is one of my go-to panini recipes, with a yummy pesto made from garden fresh basil.

  • 1/2 medium zucchini
  • 1 red bell pepper, roasted
  • 1 small jar marinated artichoke hearts
  • 1/2 medium tomato, sliced
  • 1 handful baby bella mushrooms
  • 2 cloves garlic, roasted
  • 1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup basil pesto
  • 1 medium boule loaf
  • few tablespoons vegan butter
  • vegan mozzarella (optional)

the way i make this panini varies a little each time, and the basic recipe can easily be modified. a lot of the things can be store bought or made from scratch... that's up to you.

bread: if working from scratch, you'll need to make your boule loaf. i use the basic recipe from artisan bread in 5 minutes a day, with half whole wheat and half unbleached white flour. the recipe can be found here for those that don't have the book.

roasted red peppers: while the bread is cooling, slice the bell pepper into quarters and roast in the oven for 10-15 minutes. i usually throw a little olive oil on them, and place on a piece of foil at 400°f for 10 minutes, then turn the broiler on for 5 more minutes. they should be tender, but not completely black. again, you could also just buy a jar of these if pressed for time.

pesto: you might be able to find pre-made pesto, just be sure and check that it doesn't contain parmesean. to make 1/4 cup pesto, you'll need about 1 cup fresh basil leaves. in a food processor, add basil, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon lemon juice and about 1/8 cup pine nuts. pulse until smooth and creamy, adding a splash more olive oil or lemon juice if needed.

ok, so now you are ready! use a mandolin or a steady hand to make several zucchini slices, approximately 1/8-1/4 inch thick. the slices should be fairly thin - bending if you hold them up by one end. place the slices on a plate with the balsamic vinegar and let marinate for 30+ minutes. when the zucchini are almost done marinating, slice the boule loaf horizantally into 4 thick slices. divide the rest of ingredients in half, and start building the sandwiches. spread the pesto on one slice of bread, and then layer the zucchini, red peppers, mushrooms, artichoke hearts and tomato. add the vegan mozzarella if desired. finally, on the other slice a bread, spread a garlic clove and press on top of your sandwich.

heat the panini maker, and spread a small amount of vegan butter on the outside of each bread slice. place the sandwiches in the press, and let them cook for approximately 10 minutes. over the course of the 10 minutes, press down on the sandwiches occasionally so they really smush together. like any good panini, they should come out crunchy brown on the outside with a warm gooey center, and should be pressed enough that they don't fall apart.

makes 2 large paninis.


Lauren said...

This looks delicious! I use to get a vegan panini all the time at this place near my parents, you are making me want to go visit! LOL! :)

Sal said...

yum it looks great.

jessy said...

your brother is too awesome to hook it up on the veggie love. yay! i love me some zucchini awesomenesses, too - and your italian pesto panini looks divine! we haven't had a good sammie in a while and now i'm craving one & gonna have to make it happen!

Debra said...

looks way yummy!
Cookbook giveaway on my blog!
Debra @ Vegan Family Style

Mihl said...

Yum, I could use such a panini right now!

iRaw said...

Woo! Looks delicious!

Bianca said...

I wish I had a panini press ... and a bushel of zucchini. You should call this Zucchini Panini, btw. Cause it rhymes.

The Healthy Hostess said...

That looks amazing! Paninis are our favorite! I am going to have to try your recipe!

Cooking With Dia said...

Everyone is doing such wonderful vegan sandwiches this week. This panini looks amazing! Making me hungry!

JennShaggy said...

Haha your wedding sounds like it was fantastic. Equally as fantastic is this lovely panini you have posted here. Wow. Yum city.

Definitely try the Paneer recipe. It even works well with Super Firm Tofu...just cure it with a little salt overnight.

Thanks, Ms V :)

Hannah said...

So here I am with a genuine panini press, and I've almost never used it. This looks so amazing though, thanks for reminding me about that thing! I'm definitely gonna put it to use asap to make something similar. ;)

Mike K said...

I love panini, and this looks great! Extra points for making your own bread too :) I've seen that book, and love the idea of making easy bread that looks that good.

Orlando personal injury lawyer said...

This looks totally amazing.