In my previous post, I mentioned that during my Portland bakery binge, I picked up some fresh bread for panini making.  These soft hoagie rolls looked like just the thing to cradle some fresh produce from my friend’s bountiful garden.  Panini making has been on my mind since reading pearls of wisdom from this great chef.  She has been posting recipes for chocolate peanut butter banana panini, bacon chocolate panini and more.  

I don’t have a panini press so I thought I was out of the game.  Little did I know that a few iron skillets or even a clothes iron would do the trick.  The sandwiches pictured above are the result of a very hot grill and an enormous iron skillet.  

There is not an exact recipe involved here because the truth is, you can put just about anything in a panini.  The key seems to be great butter on both sides of the bread and something wet inside to keep it from being too dry.  Below is the combination we enjoyed alongside a bowl of hot pink borscht but please… be creative.  And in the case that you have a backyard garden, let your harvest be your ingredient guide.

Fresh Garden Harvest Grilled Panini

White hoagie rolls or Italian white bread
Butter (or olive oil)
Coarse Salt
Eggplant, sliced into 1/2 inch thick slices
mayonnaise (for grilling eggplant)
Fresh tomatoes, sliced
Grilled red pepper or jarred roasted red pepper
Fresh mozzarella cheese
Fresh basil leaves

Heat grill until very hot (400-500 degrees). Spread mayonnaise on both sides of eggplant and sprinkle with salt. Place on grill. Cook both sides until soft and done. If you are grilling the red pepper, put that on the grill too until charred. Slice rolls in half and spread butter or olive oil on both sides. Top with tomatoes, basil leaves, mozzarella, grilled eggplant and peppers. Place sandwiches on the grill topped with an iron skillet to press. Cook until warm and grill marks form. Flip them and cook the other side.

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9 Responses to “Fresh Garden Harvest Grilled Panini”

  1. Mediterranean Harvest: Vegetarian Recipes from the World’s Healthiest Cuisine | Grow Your Own Tomatoes Says:

    [...] Fresh Garden Harvest Grilled Panini [...]

  2. Kelly D. - ThreeLittleApples Says:

    Mummm! It sounds almost like a decomponentized babaganoush spread :) Lovely!

  3. Heather @ chiknpastry Says:

    Theres nothing like finding fresh ingredients on your travels :) and those panini look scrumptitious.

    I don’t have a panini press either, so I just use another skillet and then sit my super heavy mortar on top. the same ‘high level’ technique is used in my house for draining tofu !

  4. Stephen Says:

    are you nuts!!! those look sooooo good! any grilled sandwich is better than your ordinary toasted variety. eggplant is one of my favorite veggies in the world, especially the summer varieties

  5. Kathy (aka Stresscake) Says:

    Oh yum! Even better than butter for slicking the outside of the bread is mayonnaise, much like you do for the eggplant here. Sounds kinda of gross but it works perfectly!

  6. EB Says:

    The grill adds extra flavor! Perfect.

  7. spud! tutorials: Fresh harvest box | Food And Beverage Jobs Says:

    [...] Fresh Garden Harvest Grilled Panini [...]

  8. Tomato Better Bush Tang & Long Harvest Seasson 50 Seed | Grow Your Own Tomatoes Says:

    [...] Fresh Garden Harvest Grilled Panini [...]

  9. Trent Says:

    That is an incredible looking recipe and even better without a panini maker.

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