Eggplant panini with pesto is a delicious vegetarian sandwich that combines grilled eggplant, creamy mozzarella cheese, and zesty pesto sauce.
This hearty sandwich is perfect for lunch or dinner and can be enjoyed year-round. The eggplant is sliced and grilled to bring out its natural sweetness and smoky flavor, while the pesto adds a burst of fresh basil and garlic to the sandwich.
The melted mozzarella cheese helps to bring all of the flavors together in each bite. With a crispy exterior and a warm and gooey interior, this eggplant panini is sure to become a favorite in your sandwich rotation.
Why should you use a panini press for Eggplant Panini with Pesto?
A panini press allows for the bread to be perfectly toasted and crispy while the filling is heated and the cheese is melted to perfection. The press also adds beautiful grill marks to the sandwich, making it visually appealing and enhancing the flavor of the eggplant and pesto.
The press also helps the sandwich hold together, making it easy to eat and perfect for a quick and satisfying meal.
How to make Eggplant Panini with Pesto in panini press
To make an Eggplant Panini with Pesto in a panini press, you will need the following ingredients:
- 1 medium-sized eggplant, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
- 1/4 cup of pesto sauce
- 4 slices of bread (sourdough or ciabatta work well)
- 4 slices of fresh mozzarella cheese
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat your panini press to medium-high heat.
- Brush both sides of the eggplant slices with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Place the eggplant slices on the preheated panini press and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until they are tender and lightly browned. Remove from the panini press and set aside.
- Spread pesto sauce on one side of each slice of bread.
- Place a slice of fresh mozzarella cheese on each of two slices of bread. Top with the cooked eggplant slices.
- Place the remaining slices of bread on top of the eggplant, pesto side facing down.
- Place the sandwiches on the panini press and cook for 3-5 minutes, or until the bread is crispy and the cheese is melted.
- Remove the sandwiches from the panini press and allow them to cool for a minute before slicing in half and serving.
Enjoy your delicious Eggplant Panini with Pesto!
Tips for making Eggplant Panini with Pesto in panini press
Here are some tips for making Eggplant Panini with Pesto in a panini press:
- Choose the right bread: Look for bread that can hold up to the filling and won’t get too soggy. Ciabatta or sourdough are good options.
- Slice the eggplant thinly: Thinly sliced eggplant will cook more evenly and fit better in the sandwich.
- Salt the eggplant: Sprinkle salt on the eggplant slices and let them sit for 10-15 minutes. This will help draw out excess moisture and make them less bitter.
- Brush with olive oil: Brush both sides of the eggplant slices with olive oil before placing them in the panini press. This will help them cook evenly and give them a nice crispy texture.
- Add the pesto last: Spread the pesto on the bread last, just before assembling the sandwich. This will prevent the bread from getting too soggy.
- Use a hot panini press: Make sure the panini press is hot before adding the sandwich. This will ensure that the bread gets crispy and the cheese gets melted.
- Press the sandwich down gently: Press the sandwich down gently with the lid of the panini press. Don’t apply too much pressure, or the filling may squish out of the sides.
- Let the sandwich cool slightly: After removing the sandwich from the panini press, let it cool for a minute or two before cutting it in half. This will prevent the cheese from oozing out.
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