Grilled Vegetable Panini

Tips for the PERFECT Grilled Vegetable PaniniDid you know that you can grill vegetables right on your panini maker? (or similar type electric grill.) And if you have a higher quality, nonstick panini maker (such as the Cuisinart Griddler) you don’t even need to use any oil or butter, saving you needless calories.
Grill Vegetables in your PANINI MAKER!
SO LET’S MAKE A GRILLED VEGETABLE PANINI!

Because this is going to be a 100% plant-based panini, we won’t be using any kind of cheese to hold it together, so here is a trick to get a PERFECT GRILLED VEGETABLE PANINI, with out having to worry about the vegetables squishing out all over the place: Grill the bread, SEPARATELY from the vegetables, then assemble your sandwich. (Rather than assembling the sandwich first, then grilling/pressing it all together.)

START WITH THE VEGETABLES: (Suggested vegetables: red and green bell peppers, zucchini, red onions, mushrooms, etc.)
Working in batches, place the evenly cut vegetables on the pre-heated panini press and close the lid. Press down on the lid so that the grates will press into the vegetables, insuring nice grill marks.
Grill Vegetables in your PANINI MAKER!When the vegetables are tender/crisp, (usually about 3-5 min.) remove them from the grill and transfer them to a plate. Brush the vegetables with a good quality balsamic vinegar while still warm, so they will soak up the sweet, tangy vinegar. Also sprinkle them with a little sea salt. (if desired) Continue to cook the vegetables in batches until they are all grilled.

(It took me about an hour to prep and cook all the vegetables in batches, on the Griddler.)
Grill Vegetables in your PANINI MAKER!TIP: If needed, you can grill all the vegetables 2-3 days ahead of time then cover and refrigerate. Then just lightly warm them up in the microwave when ready to assemble the sandwiches.

Next place slices of hearty bread on the hot griddler.¬†Close the lid and gently press down on the panini press so the bread will get grill marks without needing any oil or butter. BE CAREFUL: Don’t leave the bread in the hot press too long, or the bread will become too hard to comfortably eat. (I found somewhere between 1-3 minutes to be perfect using the SEAR setting on the griddler.) Check after 1 minute and if you don’t have grill marks yet, then apply more pressure on the lid and heat for an additional minute or two.
Tips to make the PERFECT Grilled Veggie Panini!

OK, IT’S TIME TO ASSEMBLE THE SANDWICHES!
Tips to make the PERFECT Grilled Veggie Panini!I set out a tray with the grilled bread and all the fixin’s, and then just let everyone assemble their own sandwich. That way they could make it exactly how they liked it.
Sandwich ingredients included: Grilled bread, grilled vegetables, oil-free hummus, guacamole, fresh basil leaves, micro-greens or sandwich sprouts, and balsamic glaze for drizzling.
Make The PERFECT Grilled Veggie Panini!Spread one side of each bread slice with hummus or guacamole, then pile on whatever grilled vegetables you like. Top with sprouts and/or basil leaves, then drizzle with balsamic glaze. (or additional balsamic vinegar) Place another slice of bread on top of the vegetables. (spread side down) Press the sandwich down with your hands. (to help it all hold together) Insert a sandwich pick through the top of the sandwich on the either side, then slice the sandwich in half. (for easier eating.)
How to make the PERFECT GRILLED VEGGIE PANINI!If desired, place additional basil leaves on top for garnish.

AND THERE YOU HAVE IT: Your grilled vegetable panini is now READY TO SERVE!
Tips for the PERFECT Grilled Vegetable PaniniOptional: You can grill up some potato slices to serve with the sandwich. (Here I used red potatoes sliced 1/4 inches thick, sprinkled with salt, then grilled for about 6-7 minutes.)

By the way, if you happen to have any grilled vegetables left over, they make a really great lunch bowl the next day. Here I just laid down a bed of cooked tri-colored quinoa, then topped it with the leftover, roughly chopped grilled vegetables. I warmed it in the microwave for a couple of minutes, then drizzled it with balsamic glaze and topped it all off with a big scoop of garlic hummus. YUM!!!
How to Grill Vegetables on your PANINI Maker!

So what will you put on YOUR grilled vegetable panini?
How to make the PERFECT GRILLED VEGGIE PANINI!

Grilled Vegetable Panini

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Print

Learn the tricks to making the perfect grilled vegetable panini

Tips for the PERFECT Grilled Vegetable Panini

Ingredients

  • 2-3 small zucchini
  • 3 red or yellow onions
  • 1 red and 1 yellow or green bell pepper
  • 8 oz. mushrooms
  • 2-3 Tablespoons good quality balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste (optional)
  • 4-6 slices hearty sourdough bread, rye bread, or or other artisan bread
  • 16 oz. carton guacamole and/or oil-free garlic hummus
  • 1 small tray micro-greens or sandwich sprouts
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Balsamic glaze (for drizzling)
  • (Optional) 2 red or gold potatoes washed and sliced 1/4 inch thick (To make grilled chips/fries to serve alongside the sandwich, if desired.)

Directions

*NOTE: In this recipe, you will be grilling the vegetables and the bread separately, then assembling the sandwich afterward. (This helps keep the vegetables from squishing out of the sandwich.)

  1. Fit the griddler with the grill plates. Plug in the griddler or panini press and turn to the highest setting (Sear) Allow to pre-heat while you prepare the vegetables.
  2. Prepare the vegetables for grilling by washing, then cutting as follows: Slice the zucchini lengthwise into 1/2 inch planks. Peel and slice the onions into 1/2 inch thick slices. Cut the red and yellow bell peppers into 4″ wide, flat strips. Remove dirt from mushrooms with a paper towel, then cut each mushroom in half. If making grilled potato chips/fries to serve alongside the sandwich, then slice the red potatoes into 1/4 inch slices.
  3. Working in batches, place the prepared vegetables directly on the hot griddler or panini press. (No oil needed if using a high quality non-stick press, such as the Cuisinart, but if you only have a low quality press, then you may need to spray the vegetables lightly with cooking oil spray prior to placing on the grill, to keep them from sticking to the grill plates.) Close the lid and PRESS DOWN on the top to help create the grill marks in the vegetables. Continue to grill the vegetables just until tender crisp. (Usually between 3-5 minutes.) Don’t overcook! (Slightly undercooked vegetables are better than overcooked for this type of sandwich.)
  4. Once the vegetables have nice grill marks, and are have softened a bit, remove them from the grill and transfer to a plate. Brush the hot vegetables with balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper if desired. Continue to cook the remaining vegetables in batches, until all are grilled, salted (optional) and brushed with balsamic vinegar. (For convenience, vegetables may be grilled ahead of time and kept covered in the refrigerator for 3-4 days, until you are ready to use them. Lightly warm the vegetables in the microwave oven prior to assembling the paninis.)
  5. Time to grill the bread: Place plain slices of hearty bread in a single layer on the hot griddler. Close the lid and gently press down on the panini press so the bread will get grill marks without needing any oil or butter. BE CAREFUL: Don’t leave the bread in the press too long, or the bread will become too hard to comfortably eat. (I found somewhere between 1-3 minutes to be perfect using the SEAR setting on the griddler and pressing down.) Check the bread after 1 minute and if you don’t have grill marks yet, then add more pressure on the lid and heat for an additional minute or two.
  6. Assemble the Sandwich: Spread one side of each grilled bread slice with hummus or guacamole, then layer it up with whatever grilled vegetables you like. Drizzle on some balsamic glaze, or additional balsamic vinegar. Place another slice of bread on top of the vegetables. (spread side down) Press the sandwich together lightly with your hands. (to help it all hold together) Insert a sandwich pick through the top of the sandwich on the either side, then slice the sandwich in half. (for easier eating.)
  7. If desired, serve the sandwich with grilled potato slices. (Slice potatoes 1/4 inch thick and grill in the press on SEAR for about 6-7 minutes till tender on the inside and crispy on the outside.)

Find this recipe and other great plant-based recipes at http://www.LittleBluePlates.com


How to make the PERFECT GRILLED VEGGIE PANINI!
Find this recipe and other great plant-based recipes at http://www.LittleBluePlates.com

Advertisements