Tag Archives: arugula

Eggplant Mozzarella Panini

Eggplant Mozzarella Panini

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.

Eggplant Mozzarella Panini

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!

Eggplant Mozzarella Panini

Grill the whole shebang for a few minutes, and you’re in business.

Eggplant Mozzarella Panini

Let me just pick that bad boy up… and… huh?

Eggplant Mozzarella Panini

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!!!

My Engagement Ring!!

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!

5.0 from 2 reviews

Eggplant Mozzarella Panini
Serves: 4

  • 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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Remove to a plate, cut into halves, and enjoy!

Happy Eating 🙂

Green Pizza

Green Pizza
I’m pretty sure I’ve said this before on this blog, but pizza is the ultimate comfort food for me. It’s portable, filling, tasty- you really can’t go wrong.

Yes, it’s possible to have bad pizza. Like, really bad pizza. I’m talking 3 in the morning, cold cheese on ketchup pizza that may or may not come with a free soda and fries if you order two slices for 99 cents. This is what we call a food tragedy. But it should not represent the greater, tastier food group that IS pizza!

The good news is, it’s really hard to make bad pizza in your own home, since you’re controlling exactly what goes on! Once you have the basic dough down, you are essentially good to go. I am normally very much a red sauce kinda girl when it comes to my pizza, but I had some leftover arugula pesto (that stuff freezes great!) so I used that, some fresh mozz, garlic, shallots, and broccoli to make this a green pizza that will certainly NOT scream diet material. Firstly, because I don’t think cheese on bread counts as diet material anyway. Secondly, because this pizza is way too darn tasty to scream anything other than “decadence”.

Green Pizza

5.0 from 1 reviews

Green Pizza
Prep time

Cook time

Total time


Serves: 6

For the crust:
  • 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons white sugar
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • corn meal, to cover the baking sheet or pizza stone
For the toppings:
  • ½ to ¾ cup olive oil
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced lengthwise into thin slices
  • ½ tsp fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 cup shredded fresh mozzarella (or 3-4 big slices)
  • ½ to 1 cup arugula pesto
  • 1 head broccoli, cut into small florets
  • Balsamic vinegar, for drizzling

  1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, olive oil, salt, white sugar, garlic powder, oregano and the yeast mixture; stir well to combine. Beat well until a stiff dough has formed. Cover and rise until doubled in volume, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350° F.
  3. In a small pan, heat the oil over medium-low heat. Add the garlic, thyme and shallots. The idea here isn’t necessarily to fry the aromatics, but to sort of poach them. Cook until the shallots are translucent and garlic is just starting to get crispy. Your house will smell very garlicky and delicious at this point.
  4. Turn out the pizza dough onto a baking sheet or pizza stone that has been dusted with cornmeal. You should also rub your hands with some corn meal to prevent the dough from sticking to you. Spread the dough out to the shape you want, then layer on your toppings. I started out with arugula pesto, then added a layer of mozzarella, the broccoli, and finished it off by pouring my oil and poached aromatics on top.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes. Slice, drizzle with balsamic vinegar if desired, and serve!

Green Pizza

Happy Eating 🙂

Firecracker Citrus Salad with Chicken

Firecracker Citrus Salad with Chicken

It seems counter-intuitive to me that citrus fruits are in season during the wintertime, but I’m certainly not complaining. I’ve been taking advantage of FreshDirect’s seasonal deals on citrus the past few weeks, ordering a crate of clementines, a few limes (one of which I used with the Chili with Chicken and Chipotles, and a beautiful pack of Meyer lemons.


And even though it’s freezing here in the Northeast and many people’s first instinct is to go for the heavy comfort food, I sometimes still crave the lightness of a fresh salad. Perhaps it’s a way to make amends for all of the overindulgence of the holiday season… my body’s probably happy for the break! Continue reading