Friday, December 31

It's been fun... (Veggie Panini)

Not to wax poetic for you, but 2010 was a wonderful year.  A lot of great things happened this year - I left my despised job, we adopted Layla, I started school, Bob had a successful year at the golf course, we traveled some, I discovered solace in baking and started this blog.  Just about all of my 2010 resolutions came true.  Except that one about becoming a Victoria's Secret model and writing the great American novel.  Oh well.  

My 2011 resolutions are pretty simple.  Finish school.  Get a job.  Make a quilt.  Enrich my friendships.  Conquer my fear of vegetables.

This recipe will definitely help with that last one.  There's a Cosi restaurant close by my old office, and we used to order there for lunch sometimes.  One night, Bob and I decided that we were too lazy to cook and hungry for something different.  We ventured into Cosi and I ordered the fire-roasted veggie sandwich.  After one bite, I was in love.  I had to have more of this!

True to typical neurotic Diana fashion, I figured that I could replicate this sandwich in the comfort of my own kitchen.  Off to Wegman's I went.  I chopped and drizzled and broiled and baked and sliced until I had developed this creation.  Even Hubby, another meat-loving veggie-phobe, was smitten.  

My winter break lunch was born.

Note:  I use feta cheese spread that I got off the hummus bar at Wegman's.  Swap in whatever you like or can find. You can easily replicate this ingredient by beating together 4 oz feta cheese, 2 oz softened cream cheese, 1 clove of minced garlic and some balsamic vinegar.  Yum!

Diana's Resolute Veggie Panini
1 small eggplant
1 green pepper
1 red pepper
1/2 red onion
1 cucumber
1/3 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1-2 teaspoons oregano
feta cheese spread, or whatever kind you like
fresh sourdough bread

Rinse off the eggplant, peppers and cucumber.

Roughly chop the peppers, eggplant and cucumber into 1/2 to 1 inch pieces.  Chop the onion into 1/2 inch pieces.

In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, salt, pepper and oregano.

In a large bowl, drizzle the olive oil mixture over the veggies.  Spread onto a parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 425 for 20 minutes, until the veggies are tender.

Spread the feta cheese onto two pieces of the sourdough, top with veggies and warm in the still hot oven, on a panini press or skillet for 1-2 minutes, to warm the bread.  Store the veggies in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days - they reheat well for additional sandwiches!

Here's to 2011!!


  1. Happy 2011, Diana!

    Vege is never my fear...but getting my son to eat his vege is my challenge :D

    I must say it has my honour to be a follower of your blog in 2010...and love to see more of your cooking for this new year.

  2. Not half bad! As a matter of fact PDG. I don't comment often but I wanted you to know how much I enjoy the food you feature here. It keeps me coming back. I hope you have a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

  3. Thank you both, ladies!! It makes me so excited when I think about people besides my husband reading my recipes. :o)


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