Kewl Pumpkin Grilled Veggie Panini
Fill Up on This Healthy, Delicious Lunch
Are you looking for something different for lunch? Try Reed's veggie panini.
Lightly coat a large sauté pan with olive oil spray OR nonstick cooking spray. Set over medium-high heat on the stovetop. Preheat an electric panini press to medium or set a grill pan and manual press over medium heat on the stovetop.
When the sauté pan is well heated, add the kale. Season with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Cook until wilted but not brown. Do not over-pack the pan; instead, cook separate batches of kale if necessary, setting each batch aside when finished on a heatproof plate.
Meanwhile, use a pastry brush to very lightly coat one side of each slice of bread with olive oil. Set aside, oil-side down, on a cutting board or work surface.
In a small bowl, combine the pumpkin, garlic powder, salt and pepper with a small spoon. Use a knife to spread a quarter of the mixture on each oil-free side, facing upward on the cutting board or work surface, of all four bread slices. Set aside.
Lightly coat the Panini press or grill pan with olive oil spray OR nonstick cooking spray. On the press or grill pan, grill the slices of zucchini, eggplant, and onion, about 4-5 minutes on the press or 4-5 minutes per side (8-10 minutes total) on the grill pan. When the vegetables have obtained brown but not black grill marks and are tender, remove from the press or grill pan and set aside on a heatproof plate.
Assemble the Panini sandwiches. First, determine which two slices of bread will serve as the bottoms of the sandwiches, and which two will serve as the tops. Set the tops aside. On each bottom slice, first arrange the sautéed kale. Divide the kale evenly among each sandwich, spreading across the seasoned pumpkin mixture in a thick layer. Next, the onion. Using fingers, carefully separate each onion ring (there are several rings, or layers, in an onion slice). Arrange some of the rings on one bottom slice, and the remaining on the other. Divide roughly evenly. Next, place the slices of eggplant atop the onion layers, one per bread slice. Follow this with the zucchini slices, two per bread slice. Atop the zucchini, sprinkle the cheese--1 1/2 tablespoons per sandwich. Place the designated top slices of bread on each panini sandwich, seasoned pumpkin-side down, oil-side up. Press down lightly to affix each piece of bread to the vegetables and other fillings inside.
Apply more olive oil spray OR nonstick cooking spray to the preheated electric Panini press or grill pan. If using grill pan, also lightly coat the manual press with spray. Place the sandwiches on the Panini press or grill pan. Lower the top plate of the panini press onto the sandwiches. If utilizing grill pan and manual press, place the press atop the sandwiches, or cook one-at-a-time, if necessary. Grill for approximately 5 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown and crispy, and has attained grill marks. The sandwiches should have compacted in width.
Serve and enjoy! These paninis can be sliced in half with a serrated knife, if desired.
This recipe was styled by chef Karen Pickus for Good Morning America.