Sunday, July 11, 2010

grilled eggplant paninis with roasted red peppers and fresh mozzarella

i don't really have anything to say about these delights, except - just trust me. go home right now and fire up your grill to make the sandwiches. there is nothing better than a spicy grilled eggplant paired with gooey warm mozzarella cheese and garlic bread.

ciabatta bread
eggplant, cut into slices
roasted red peppers
fresh mozzarella cheese, cut in slices
garlic clove, cut in half
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

preheat gas grill to medium heat. in a bowl mix together eggplant slices, evoo, garlic powder and red pepper flakes. grill about 4 minutes per side. meanwhile, drizzle ciabatta bread with evoo and grill for about 3-4 minutes per side. remove from grill and immediately rub with fresh garlic clove, getting bits of garlic in the nooks and crannies of the bread. to assemble the panini, spread pesto on both sides of bread. add 2-3 slices of mozzarella cheese, 2-3 strips of roasted red pepper and 2 slices of grilled eggplant. for this next step you can either use a panini maker or use the grill to finish cooking. if you choose option 2, put the sandwich back on the grill and smush down with a cast iron skillet. cook about 2 minutes per side, just until the cheese melts - you use the heavy skillet to act like a panini press and press the sandwich down.

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