Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Ratatouille Grilled Panini (Rachael Ray)

I made this yummy sandwich Sunday evening for dinner for R and myself. It's one of Rachael's 30 minute meals, but for the life of me, they always take me at least an hour. Probably because I am not a very proficient chopper. This isn't a problem on a Sunday evening, but is challenging if I wait until later on a weeknight to start cooking. Any-hoo the leftovers were still good heated up for lunch on Monday and I felt virtuous packing in so many veggies in one meal! Plus its pretty tough to screw up... just make sure your veggies are completely cooked.

3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 large cloves garlic, crushed
1 eggplant, peeled lengthwise in 2 places to make stripes and sliced lengthwise 1/2 inch thick
1 zucchini, sliced lengthwise 1/2 inch thick
(I also used 1/2-3/4# portobella mushrooms because I love mushrooms!)
Salt and pepper
Herbes de Provence (I substituted my own mixture of savory, basil, thyme, & rosemary)
2 bell peppers, quartered lengthwise
1 loaf ciabatta bread, split horizontally
8 slices Swiss or fontina cheese (I only used 4 slices b/c they were thick cut - 1/4#)
2 cups arugula leaves (I used spinach)
1/3 cup store-bought olive tapenade (In the hummus section usually)

Heat a grill or grill pan over medium heat. In a small saucepan, combine the EVOO and garlic and heat on the grill (or on the stovetop over medium heat).
Brush the eggplant and zucchini on both sides with the garlic oil; season with salt, pepper and herbes de Provence. Place on the grill along with the bell peppers and cook, turning once, until crisp-tender, 6 to 8 minutes. (Since I only have a small indoor grill, I roasted the veggies in the oven instead and then toasted them on the grill for a minute before putting the sandwich together)
Arrange the vegetables on the bread loaf bottom and top with the cheese and arugula. Spread the bread top with the tapenade and set in place. Place the sandwich on the grill and cover with 2 bricks covered in foil or place in a skillet piled with heavy cans. Press the sandwich until crisp on top, about 2 minutes. Flip and repeat. Cut into 4 portions.

Love, B

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