Summer is truly here this week, with another 100+ degree day this afternoon. Unlike other locales where the temperature peaks around 12-1pm, the hottest part of our valley summers come at 4pm. That often dampens the excitement of cooking dinner after sweating up a storm on the journey home… and usually gets me craving something light and easy to cook. That, my friends, is how this sandwich came to be! I honestly feel silly even writing up a recipe for it, because there’s nothing too crazy neat about it, but it’s simple, yummy and a pretty cheap dinner too!
Grilled E&O with Roasted P panini (serves 2)
1 red bell pepper
1 onion (red/yellow/sweet… your pick!)
extra-virgin olive oil
salt & pepper
1) Roast your red pepper and carmelize your onions – preferably the night before after the house has cooled down.
For the pepper: stick it on a baking sheet at 450 degrees and rotate it every 10 minutes for 30 minutes. Let it cool, peel the skin and remove the seeds and stem, then cut it into smaller pieces. Store it in a container and cover it with olive oil and seal it.
For the onion: cut it in half, and then into smaller rainbow slices. Heat 2 T of oil in a pan at medium high, then sauté them. Add salt and pepper and a pinch of sugar, and keep moving them until they’re clear and browned. Store them overnight in the fridge.
2) Cut your eggplant lengthwise into thin slices (7-8), then brush them with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
3) Grill your eggplant on medium-high heat, about 3-4 minutes per side until you see your grill marks.
4) Assemble your sandwich by layering your eggplant, roasted red peppers and onions on your slices of sourdough. Add some chopped basil and slide it all on the grill/panini press for 2 minutes to heat through!
p.s. If you add a little goat cheese, you’ll just end up with an even yummier treat!