Veggie & Pesto Panini Recipe

One of my favorite homemade meals right now is veggie paninis, which we made for dinner tonight. They’re quick, simple, cheap, and delicious – all good things!

Our recipe for these paninis has morphed from an original recipe suggested by one of my best friends who happens to be vegan. We’re not vegan (or vegetarian) ourselves, but have lately been trying to eat less meat and more veggies & fruit.

Ingredients to Make Paninis for Two:
A couple slices of onion, cut and separated into half rings
A red bell pepper, sliced lengthwise into strips (smaller pieces work too)
A tomato, sliced
A zucchini, cut in half and sliced lengthwise
Bread – we use sourdough, but ciabatta and focaccia are really good for this too
Olive Oil

To Make:
Wash, cut & prepare all veggies. My husband fries the zucchini slices in a bit of olive oil and adds some Italian spices – really yummy but certainly optional and admittedly less healthy. Take 2 slices of bread and spread on your desired amount of pesto. Pile up the veggies on your sandwich and top with the remaining bread slice. Very important step: squish your panini a little bit by hand to 1) compact your loaded sandwich and 2) fix any spillage¬†before the panini get super hot while toasting. Now get out either a panini press or a wide, flat pan to toast/fry your panini. Brush the bottom of the press (or pan) with olive oil, as well as the top of your top piece of bread. Now toast your sandwich until it’s how you like it – golden brown for me! Panini done!

We typically make some rice to go with our paninis, but a soup or steamed broccoli/asparagus goes great, too. Also you can see in the picture above that I’m the sweeper for any leftover sandwich ingredients that don’t fit. :) So so yummy!