Easy, peasy Italian panini with grilled vegetables and CHEESE recipe
Could your lunch BE any more tasty?
There's something about a panini that makes it infinitely better than a sandwich. Ham and cheese sandwich for lunch? Meh, could take it or leave it. Ham and cheese panini though? Yes. Please.
The likelihood is, at lunch time, you don't have time to spend ages slaving away in the kitchen. You want something easy, but still tasty, that will give you that boost to get you through the afternoon. These panini are just the ticket. Better than a sandwich, but will be ready – with minimal effort – in just 15 minutes.
We're cooking our panini on the Tefal OptiGrill Elite. Not only do you get some perfect neat grill marks (and who doesn't love those?). the automatic thickness sensor and touch-screen grilling assistant means all your food will be cooked exactly as you like it. On the 'Panini' setting, it counts you down to 'lightly cooked', 'grilled' or 'crispy', which is really handy.
If you like things with a bit of a kick, you can add some spice with Italian pickles or a slice or two of spicy Italian salami if you can't bear to keep it veggie. You can also vary the cheeses if mozzarella isn't your jam. Try with Parmigiano Reggiano shavings, Emmental, goat's cheese or gorgonzola. Or all of the above, we're not judging.
- 4 panini
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 1 courgette
- 1 red pepper
- 1 red onion
- 4 tbsp basil pesto
- 200g grated mozzarella
- Salt & pepper
- In a salad bowl, mix the oil and vinegar with the peeled and chopped garlic cloves. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add the courgette and onion, cut into slices approximately 1cm thick, the pepper cut into strips of 1cm and stir everything together.
- Turn on your Tefal OptiGrill. Select the manual programme at 240°C and press ok.
- When the preheating is finished, put the vegetables on the grill (this will need to be done in batches) and close it. Press ok and set the cooking time to 5 minutes.
- Slice the panini breads in half lengthways and spread the pesto on them. Once cooking has finished, divide up the grilled vegetables and grated mozzarella. Close the panini.
- Carefully wipe the grill plates with a paper towel. Select the 'Panini' programme and press OK.
- As soon as pre-heating is complete, put two panini on the grill and close the lid. Cook as shown on the display, until they are cooked to your preference: 'lightly cooked', 'grilled' or 'crispy'.
- Repeat for your remaining panini.
Add spice to your panini by adding Italian pickles or a slice of spicy Italian salami. You can also vary the cheeses. Try with Parmesan shavings, Emmental cheese, goat’s cheese or gorgonzola.