Roasted Veggie, Pesto, and Mozzarella Panini

It’s funny how the weather plays an important role in your food mood.

When it’s cold and dreary outside we want something warm and comforting, but when it’s sunny and warm, it’s like we get in the mindset of summer and want something light and fresh.

With the missed-matched weather these days this panini is a perfect blend of lighter comfort food.

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Just take fresh veggies and throw them on a grill and you have the essence of summer flavor. Layer them into whole grain bread with a bit of gooey cheese and you have warm and comforting panini.

To celebrate the official onset of spring, you could throw in some sliced zucchini or asparagus spears. Heck, even use up some leftover roasted veggies from Easter! I like this combination below because it has a slight Mediterranean flare, but by all means, you can add whatever you like or have on hand!

Here’s how to make your own:

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Roasted Veggie, Pesto, and Mozzarella Panini

Makes: 1

Ingredients:

1 tbsp olive oil

2 slices eggplant

1 roasted red pepper, jarred packed in water

4 slices portobello mushrooms

1 tbsp pesto

1 tbsp hummus

1 whole grain sandwich round

 1 ounce mozzarella cheese

Directions:

In a grill pan {or on the grill or panini press} over medium high heat brush on some olive oil. Then grill both sides of the veggies {eggplant, pepper, and mushrooms} until warmed through and have charred marks on each side.

Meanwhile, on one slice of the bread, spread on a tablespoon of each of the pesto, and a tablespoon of hummus on the other slice.

Add the warmed veggies onto the bread. The order doesn’t really matter but to minimize the bread from absorbing excess moisture I started with the eggplant then added the roasted red pepper followed by the mozzarella cheese and then the mushrooms and topped it off with the other slice of bread.

Simply lay onto a panini press and allow everything to warm through {especially the bread and the cheese}.

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If you want to make this for the next few days, just grill your veggies all at once and then reserve until ready to assemble and throw into the panini.

It’s a perfect lunch, especially with the addition of a side salad. If want to boost the protein-filling power, you could drizzle some pesto on tofu and grill that with the veggies before assembling.

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I chose the sandwich thins because they are light little breads that a perfect for sandwiches. If you desire a more hearty bread {like the one pictured above using Eizekel sprouted bread}, but are watching your cals, perhaps stick to just half a panini and definitely add some grilled tofu or other lean protein source to a salad.

Of course serving this on your grandmother’s china just helps to boost the nostalgia value and make you feel like your dining out at a nice restaurant, except your in the comforts of your own home. Perfect for some of these dreary but relaxing days we’ve been having lately.

Happy Twisting!

xo,
Becca

 

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