Mar 27, 2009

Eggplant Panini - without the panini maker!

As per my menu plan, I'm supposed to make Eggplant Panini. I'm almost thought of scraping it. Looked at the recipe, I needed Basil pesto..and then I did not have a panini maker or a grill with grooves..How can I make a panini without either of these?

But I did have the eggplant, red bell pepper and zucchini and mozzarella cheese singles..I was not going to waste them.

So I got started. The recipe for Basil Pesto called for fresh basil and pine nuts. I did not have either of them. But I did have dried basil, and almonds and green chutney at home made with cilantro and mint. So, with my imagination and desire behind me, I got working..

First the spread for the sandwich -

Green chutney - had at home - Thanks to Deepi - she had bought this for me last time when we had our party. This is one of the best green chutney's ever - made with cilantro and mint. I will get her recipe later and post it as a separate post.
Light Mayo - about 2tsps
Almonds - a handful
Dried Basil seasoning from the bottle.

Blend them all together in a blender. Don't crush the almonds all together...its nice to taste crunchy pieces in between when eating.

The spread is now ready.

Main veggies - eggplant, red bell pepper, red onions and zucchini.

Slice up the veggies into big slices. Arrange them in an oven sheet. Sprinkle salt, dried herbs, red chilli flakes, pepper on top of the veggies. Bake them in a 350 deg pre heated oven for about 15 mins. The veggies are nicely done by now. Take them out of the oven, arrange some mozzarella chesse slices on top of them and return to the oven for another 10 mins. Check out the before and after pics of the veggies..haha!

Now grill or toast the bread. I had some fresh bread from Panera - country bread. You could use whole wheat or white or any other variety you like. Slice up big pieces of the bread.

Now, spread the wonderful fake pesto paste we prepared. Arrange the veggies on top of the bread and top it off with another piece of bread.

Tada - Eggplant and veggie sandwich.

If you do have a panini maker or a grill, just place this thing there wait for it to decorate the outside of the bread with got your panini!

But, like a wise man once said - who cares about the outer look? Its what's inside that counts! And trust me - this tasted wonderful. It did have a little bit of Indian feel rather than the italian feel because of the green chutney - but it was awesome! So I guess this makes it Desi Italian!

This is a wonderful dinner and you can always skip the bread and just eat the veggies..they are so delicious!! I almost ate all my zucchini before it came out to the table!

Reposting this recipe for the 'Show Me Your Sandwich' event hosted by Divya Vikram of Dil Se..


  1. I have never tried this before. I do not take eggplant but still it appears yummy. Hats off to your imagination and creativity!

  2. Anu,

    This eggplant recepie sounds interesting. Atlast another additional egg plant recepie. When i buy those huge American eggplants, i always wanted additional recepies to get rid of them from my fridge.......Should try this one out.

  3. Wow! looks very tempting. I am the only person in my house who likes eggplants. So I always have to only take visual treats.

  4. i want that oven of yours. Full J i am now!

  5. ok this comment was supposed to come on the cake post :D i have too many pages open in different tabs :D :D


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