Grilled Vegetable and Mozzarella Panini
1 sweet red pepper, halved, seeded, cut into six strips
Brush the vegetables lightly with some of the olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and grill over medium high heat, 4-5 minutes on each side. Remove vegetables from the grill and cool for several minutes.
1 medium zucchini (about 6 ounces), cut into long strips, about 1/4-inch thick
1 Asian eggplant (about 6 ounces), cut into long strips, about 1/4-inch thick
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 thin ficelle or French baguette, about 22-inches long
3 cups (12 ounces) fresh domestic mozzarella cheese, sliced into thin, even slices**
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves or 1 teaspoon dried basil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
sea salt to taste
1 tablespoon fresh chopped herbs to garnish
Slice the bread open lengthwise and brush both insides lightly with olive oil. Lightly grill the insides of the bread, about 1 minute to remove.
Assemble the still warm sandwich by alternating layers of vegetables, mozzarella cheese and basil. Sprinkle with remaining oil, a few drops of vinegar, optional desired herbs and sea salt. Tightly slice widthwise into eight sections.
Makes 8 sandwiches
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