Grilled Veggie Panini with Balsamic Mayo

Have you ever seen a really delicious recipe, but you didn’t have the ingredients you needed to make it?  This happened to me a few years ago.  I watched an episode of Giada at Home with Giada De Laurentiis.  The Grilled Vegetable, Herb, and Goat Cheese Sandwiches she made sounded delicious!  I really wanted to make them, but I didn’t have any sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, or goat cheese.  I had just picked up some ciabatta bread, an eggplant, and a zucchini at the grocery store.  Since I had some of the ingredients, I decided to try to make my own version of a grilled veggie panini.

 

 This delicious grilled veggie panini is a quick and easy lunch or dinner recipe.

I pulled out my little George Foreman Grill and all of my ingredients.  I decided to replace the goat cheese with provolone. Provolone cheese is always in my refrigerator, and my whole family prefers it over goat cheese.  I also pulled out some balsamic vinegar and mayonnaise.  The flavor of the balsamic goes well with veggies, and my kids like a little bit of mayo on their sandwiches.

 

How to Make a Grilled Veggie Panini

I started by cutting my ciabatta bread in half and slicing my eggplant and zucchini.  The grill was plugged in and getting hot.  When it was ready, I mixed the eggplant and zucchini with a little bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Then, I put some slices of eggplant on the grill.  After about two minutes, I flipped them over to the other side.   They cooked for about two more minutes before I removed them from the grill.

 

This delicious grilled veggie panini is a quick and easy lunch or dinner recipe.

 

While the veggies were cooking, I mixed up some balsamic mayonnaise.  I took about a cup of mayo and mixed in three tablespoons of balsamic vinegar.  I spread a thin layer on both sides of the ciabatta bread.

 

This delicious grilled veggie panini is a quick and easy lunch or dinner recipe.

 

Then, I put the zucchini on the George Foreman grill.  After it cooked for about three minutes on each side, I was ready to start assembling my sandwiches.

 

This delicious grilled veggie panini is a quick and easy lunch or dinner recipe.

 

I knew I wanted the provolone cheese to be the glue that would hold my panini together.  I put a layer of cheese on the bottom piece of bread.  Then, I put a layer of my grilled eggplant.  Next, I put another layer of provolone followed by the grilled zucchini.  I put one more layer of cheese before adding the top layer of bread.  I used Sargento Thin Slices of provolone since there were a lot of layers of cheese.  That provided the perfect ratio of cheese to veggies.

 

This delicious grilled veggie panini is a quick and easy lunch or dinner recipe.

 

Next, I sliced the sandwich into serving-size pieces.  I placed them on the George Foreman grill for just a few minutes to melt the cheese and to get some grill marks on the bread.  Then, my Grilled Veggie Panini was ready to serve.

 

This delicious grilled veggie panini is a quick and easy lunch or dinner recipe.

 

The Grilled Veggie Panini was crispy on the outside and warm and cheesy on the inside.  The tangy balsamic mayonnaise paired perfectly with the grilled vegetables.  Everyone ate their whole sandwich, and J even had seconds.

Since that first time making the Grilled Veggie Panini, I’ve tried several different variations.  I added spinach and roasted red peppers when I had them.  I also tried it with the olive oil spread that Giada recommended in her original recipe.  Every time this panini has been delicious.  It is a really quick and easy recipe for dinner during the busy work week or for lunch over the weekend.  This has become one of our favorite sandwiches.  I’m so glad I decided to make it even though I was missing some ingredients.

 

This delicious grilled veggie panini is a quick and easy lunch or dinner recipe.

 

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20 thoughts on “Grilled Veggie Panini with Balsamic Mayo

  1. This looks and sounds so delish! Love that you used the George Foreman grill, we have one of those! When I worked in a restaurant in the 90s they had a grilled veggie sandwich similar to this, I have been trying to recreate them since, they used a restaurant broiler which I can’t emulate, but I bet the GF grill would work! Thanks for sharing, definitely going to try this!!!

    1. I love my little George Foreman grill! It doesn’t take up much space, and it gives the grill marks and grill taste. We don’t have an outdoor grill, so I use it for hamburgers and hotdogs. I hope you love the sandwich when you try it!

  2. This sounds delicious! Would be a great way to get more veggies in our diet. But I may have to add meat to the hubby’s. Not so sure he would eat a sandwich without meat. But I love veggies so I’m sure I would love it.

    1. Erin, this is one of my favorite vegetarian meals. I’ve been trying to incorporate more veggies into our diet, and everyone in my family loves this recipe. I would gladly make it for you, but it really is easy to make yourself. I hope you get a chance to try it.

  3. I love grilled vegetables and cheese, two of my favorite things to eat. So I’m already sold on this panini recipe. It sounds absolutely delicious…I’ll have to try it!

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