Yum. Who doesn’t love a panini for lunch on a cold day? I mean, sandwiches are pretty great all year round. But paninis are like… super sandwiches. The s’mores of sandwiches if you will. The greatest of grilled grub. The leviathan of luscious lunches!
This sandwich takes into account a ton of my favorite ingredients- eggplant, mozzarella, arugula and roasted red peppers. Throw in some pesto and a great crusty country loaf, and you will say goodbye to the boring everyday white bread sandwich.
This panini is pretty easy to make- start by grilling some eggplant, either on the grill, over a grill pan on the stove, or on the George Foreman, which is what I did.
Then it’s just a matter of assembling your sandwich with some choice ingredients!
Grill the whole shebang for a few minutes, and you’re in business.
Let me just pick that bad boy up… and… huh?
Oh sorry… how did that get in there? Are you blinded by my… BLING?
YUP…. I’m getting hitched!!
Sorry it took so long to cut to the chase… but this is (almost) as exciting as my panini!!!
That’s right folks… Ms. Total Noms is soon to become a Mrs.! I cannot believe I’m going to marry my best friend.
So excited. That’s me. Just so freakin’ excited!
More to come on the nuptials, but for now- get making this panini!
- 1 eggplant, cut into ½” rounds (peeled or not, your preference)
- kosher salt
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 8 slices good, crusty country bread
- 4 tbsp pesto (homemade or storebought)
- 1 lb fresh mozzarella, cut into ¼” slices (or shredded is fine, too)
- ½ cup baby arugula
- 4 strips roasted red pepper, dried with paper towels
- I always like to salt my eggplant to temper any bitterness from the eggplant seeds. In a colander, place your eggplant slices and liberally salt all sides. Allow the eggplant to sit for about 10 minutes, rinse and squeeze dry with paper towels. Brush the eggplant with olive oil on both sides.
- Heat up your grill, grill pan, or George Foreman. Grill the eggplant rounds for about 4-6 minutes (2-3 minutes per side if using a grill or grill pan). Remove from the grill.
- Assemble your sandwich- I layered pesto, mozzarella slices, baby arugula and roasted red peppers on a slice of country bread, then placed a few eggplant rounds on top. Top with the other slice of bread, then grill for about 3-5 minutes, flipping if using a grill or grill pan.
- Remove to a plate, cut into halves, and enjoy!