Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Eggplant-and-Portobello Mushroom Paninis

How can you not like a panini? I mean, what's not to like? The crispy, crusty bread filled with melted cheese oozing. At home, paninis are always a favorite. My mother makes a killer homemade pesto, prosciutto, fresh mozzarella and tomato panini. I want one right now.

You see, when paninis are on the menu, we have to get crafty. Like use a pan and something heavy on top of the pan to weigh down the sandwich..until now....

My parents bought me this beauty for my birthday. I was so eager to try it.

Tuesdays, Mariah has class until 7 so being the motherly person I am, I have dinner on the table for her arrival at 7:15. Last week we had paninis. With a side of sweet potato fries for the millionth day in a row. But that's besides the point.

Eggplant-and-Portobello Mushroom Paninis
adapted from: the best of Cooking Light everyday favorites
serves 4

4 portobello mushrooms
4 (1/2 inch-thick) slices peeled eggplant
1/4 cup balsamic vinaigrette, divided
1/4 cup chopped bottled roasted red bell peppers
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
8 slices provolone cheese
4 whole wheat rolls
1/2 cup spinach leaves

1. Preheat broiler.
2. Remove stems from mushrooms; discard. Remove brown gills from undersides of mushrooms and discard.
3. Place mushrooms and eggplant on a broiler pan; brush vegetables with 1 tablespoon vinaigrette. Broil 6 minutes. Turn vegetables over, and brush with 1 tablespoon vinaigrette. Broil an additional 5 minutes or until tender.
4. Turn a pan on medium heat.
5. Combine bell peppers and basil. Spoon 1 tablespoon pepper mixture over each eggplant slice. Top each mushroom with 1 cheese slice.
6. Brush Olive Oil on the outsides of both sides of the rolls.
7. Brush the insides of the rolls with the vinaigrette. Arrange 1 cheese slice on the bottom of each roll, then the spinach. Top each half with the eggplant and then the mushroom.
8. Grill on a panini press or using a grill press until cheese is melted and bread is golden brown.

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