These vegetarian paninis are seriously to die for and are super easy to make! The flavor combination of grilled veggies, hummus, roasted red peppers and crunchy, crispy ciabatta bread is unbeatable. Without further ado, let’s get started!
Start by slicing up the eggplant and zucchini, about ¼ inch in thickness.
Select eggplants that are heavy for their size and free of cracks. When choosing zucchini, select ones that are no more that 5-7 inches in length. The bigger the zucchini the more bitter and fibrous it becomes.
Aren’t veggies pretty? Once everything is sliced, lay everything out in a single layer to prepare for seasoning. These veggies are great for your waistline because they are non-fat, sodium free, and are a great source of fiber.
Brush a thin layer of oil on one side of the veggies, then sprinkle with garlic powder, dried oregano and cracked black pepper. Tip: When using dried herbs, crumble in your fingers before using to bring out more flavor.
Flip veggies over and repeat with the oil and seasonings
Next, lightly oil your pan and grill up the veggies!
My pan isn’t that big so I had to split up the veggies into two batches.
I love the grill marks on the veggies and the smell is amazing! Grill the zucchini and eggplant slices until tender.
The next step is to heat up your panini press. In my case, I have a grill lid that goes with my grill pan, so I just put it into my grill pan to get nice and hot! If you don’t have a grill pan or panini press, just use a large skillet and for a lid use another pot or pan.
Ciabatta bread is the perfect bread choice when making a panini! This recipe only uses half a loaf, which makes a total of 4 sandwiches. (You can always double the filling and make 8 sandwiches! They will all get eaten without a doubt!)
Next, cut the ciabatta open. I asked my baker to not slice my bread so that it would stay fresher until I was ready to use it!
Spread on the roasted red pepper hummus to all four slices of bread. Place the two bottoms onto the grill pan to start crisping up. Hummus is a great spread choice because it is low in fat, a good source of protein and has fiber, along with being super creamy and flavorful.
Layer on the beautifully grilled zucchini and eggplant slices.
For double the red pepper flavor, layer on slices of roasted red peppers! Yum!
Put your lids on and press away!
I flipped my paninis halfway through, since my pan lid doesn’t self heat, to make sure everything was crispy and golden brown.
Place your sandwiches onto a cutting board and slice into triangles and enjoy!
by Caitilin Perez, RDN
½ loaf ciabatta bread (~228 grams total/ 57 grams per serving)
2 miniature or 1 small eggplant, sliced ¼ in. thick
1 small to medium zucchini, sliced ¼ in. thick
¼ cup roasted red pepper hummus
1 oz. roasted red peppers
1 tbsp canola oil
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp cracked black pepper
1) Brush zucchini and eggplant slices lightly with oil and sprinkle with garlic powder, dried oregano and black pepper. Flip veggies over and repeat.
2) Grill veggies on both sides until tender, about 5-10 minutes.
3) Slice ciabatta bread and spread each of the four pieces with 1 tablespoon roasted red pepper hummus.
4) Lightly oil grill pan/ panini press. Place the sandwich bottoms on the grill pan/panini press.
5) Layer on the grill eggplant and zucchini slices, as well as roasted red pepper pieces. Top with the sandwich lids and press. Paninis are done when both sides are crisp and golden brown.
6) Slice the two sandwiches into triangles to create the 4 panini servings.
A delicious spring mix salad would pair perfectly with this delectable Roasted Red Pepper Veggie Panini!
NOURISHING NUTRITION (per serving)
Fat (g): 8
Sodium (mg): 475
Protein (g): 6
Carbs (g): 30[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]