Panini sandwich with grilled vegetables

A crispy panini with caramelized vegetables and spicy mayo sauce
pinit

A panini is a sandwich made with Italian bread – grilled or toasted. In many countries, the word panini refers to a grilled sandwich made with any type of bread. Common types of bread used in panini sandwiches are baguette, ciabatta or focaccia. Most recipes for panini include a filling of vegetables or meats and cheese between two slices of bread and often served warm after being pressed in a grill. The main equipment needed to make panini sandwiches is the “panini press” or “panini grill”. A panini press is a contact grill for heating sandwiches with electric elements. The unique function of the panini grill is to heat the food to an appropriate internal temperature with the desired external textures like crisp finish, grill marks, or caramelization.

I have tried panini sandwiches at many restaurants and delis. Being a vegetarian, my choices for a panini at a restaurant are always limited and usually the taste is bland. I had a grilled vegetable panini at my friend’s place, and it was the best-tasting panini I ever had. I am sharing the recipe that I borrowed from my friend and customized it to suit my taste. I have made paninis many times at my home and every time my family loves them. Hence, I thought of sharing this recipe on my blog.

My recipe for “Panini sandwich with grilled vegetables” has 5 main ingredients :

  1. Bread: Although Italian bread is preferred, you can choose any type of bread as long as it has a dense structure and can hold itself with all the ingredients when grilled. Traditional panini recipes recommend a Ciabatta or focaccia bread. I have used the “PEPPERIDGE FARM FARMHOUSE® Hearty white bread”. Also, make sure that the bread slices are thick and large in size. The secret of a good panini lies in the quality of bread and hence be sure to get the right variety of bread.

 

  1. Grilled Vegetables: I have used Onions (sliced), bell pepper (julienne), Jalapenos ( thin rings – with/without seeds) and Roma tomatoes grilled and cut into thick slices.

 

  1. Fresh lettuce: – I used iceberg lettuce and shredded it with a knife. You can use romaine lettuce also.

 

  1. Spicy mayo sauce: – I have used the regular mayo sauce and mixed it with Sriracha hot sauce. This combination gives a great tasting Sriracha mayo sauce.

 

  1. Cheese: – I have used Sargento® Sliced Pepper Jack Cheese, as it adds the right flavor with spiciness and also melts well. We can also use Gruyere, Parmesan, Monterey Jack, Fontina, Brie or Mozzarella cheeses.

 

To prepare the  “Panini with Grilled Vegetables”, start with grilling the veggies. I have used the panini press to grill the onions, bell peppers, and jalapenos separately. Grill all vegetables on high heat to get a caramelization on the surface that brings out a smoky-sweet flavor in the vegetables. I have used the convection oven/OTG to bake the tomatoes wrapped in aluminum foil. Bake the tomatoes at 450F for about 15 minutes or until you see the tomato skin start to peel and turn dark. Once the tomatoes have cooled, remove the skin and slice into 1/4 inch rings. Chop the lettuce as per instructions.

Prepare the spicy mayo sauce ( I also refer this as Srirarch mayo sauce) by mixing the mayo and sriracha sauce as per the proportion in the ingredients section. Once we have the veggies and sauce ready, take two slices of bread and spread about 1 teaspoon of spicy mayo sauce on each side. Using one slice of bread as a base, spread a layer of shredded lettuce. Then spread a few slices of grilled onion and bell peppers. Add 2 – 3 slices of tomato followed by 2-3 rings of jalapenos. Lastly cut a slice of cheese into 3 parts and layer them on the top. Place the second slice of bread on the top. Make sure that the vegetables or the cheese slices are not sticking out of the bread slices.

Apply a thin layer of butter on the bottom plate of the panini press and place the sandwich. Close the top part of the panini press on the sandwich. Set the temperature at “very high” setting and let the sandwich grill for about 5 minutes. Open the panini press and spread a layer of butter on the bread surface and close the lid again for another 3-4 minutes. Check for the right level of coloring on the surface and remove the sandwich from the grill when you see the bread has turned golden brown.

Enjoy the Panini with a side of Tomato ketchup and Potato chips.

I hope you will find this recipe helpful and tasty. Please rate this recipe. If you have liked it, please share it with your friends. For more updates on new recipes, please subscribe.

Panini sandwich with grilled vegetables

Difficulty: Intermediate Prep Time 60 min Cook Time 30 min Total Time 1 hr 30 mins Servings: 5

Description

 A simple and tasty vegetarian panini filled with grilled vegetables and pepper jack cheese that is toasted to perfection. An ideal dish for a wholesome lunch or dinner.

Ingredients

Vegetables

Other ingredients

Instructions

Prepare the fillings and assembling the panini

  1. Prepare the vegetables

    1. Slice the Onions into 2-3 mm thickness, Julienne bell pepper ( 2 inches long), cut Jalapenos into rings of 4 mm thickness (– with/without seeds)
    2. Use the panini press to grill the onions, bell peppers, and jalapenos separately. Grill all vegetables on high heat to get a caramelization on the surface that brings out a smoky-sweet flavor in the vegetables.
    3. Use the convection oven/OTG to bake the tomatoes wrapped in aluminum foil. Bake the tomatoes at 450F for about 15 minutes or until you see the tomato skin start to peel and turn dark. Once the tomatoes have cooled, remove the skin, and cut into rings of 1/4 inch thickness
    4. Shred the iceberg lettuce with a knife into 1/8-inch-thick strands and of 2–3-inch length. You can also use romaine lettuce.

     

  2. Assemble the sandwich

    1. Mix the mayo and sriracha sauce as per the proportion in the ingredients section.
    2. Take two slices of bread and spread about 1 teaspoon of sriracha mayo sauce on each side.
    3. Using one slice of the bread as a base, spread a layer of shredded lettuce.
    4. Then spread a few slices of grilled onions and bell peppers.
    5. Add 2 – 3 slices of tomato followed by 2-3 rings of jalapenos.
    6. Lastly cut a slice of cheese into 3 parts and layer them on the top. Place the second slice on the top.

Grilling the paning

    1. Apply a thin layer of butter on the bottom plate of the panini press and place the sandwich on the panini base.
    2. Close the top part of the panini press on the sandwich. Set the temperature at a very high setting and let the sandwich grill for about 5 minutes.
    3. Open the panini press and spread a layer of butter on the top surface of the sandwich and close the lid again for another 3-4 minutes.
    4. Check for the right level of coloring on the surface and remove the sandwich from the grill when you see the bread has turned golden brown.
    5. If you would like a square pattern on the surface (doesn’t change the taste – just a cosmetic appeal), you can turn the sandwich at the right angle and grill for another 2-3 minutes.

     

    Remove the panini from the grill and enjoy with a side of Tomato ketchup and Potato chips.

     

     

Notes

  1. Enjoy the panini while it is still warm.
  2. The panini loses its crispiness if you store it in the refrigerator as the bread will absorb the moisture from the veggies.
  3. Do not over-stuff the veggies in the sandwich. An ideal panini is one that is crispy and not overflowing with veggies or cheese.
Keywords: Panini, Vegetarian, Grilled, Vegetables, Lettuce, Panino, Cheese, Main course, Sandwich,

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