Grilled zucchini and eggplant panini with basil pesto recipe

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Easy, extremely delicious Italian panini roll sandwiches with grilled vegetables and a classic basil pesto.
Preparation time: 10 minutes, Cooking time: 10 minutes, Serves: 2 - 4 


For the basil pesto
2 cups fresh basil leaves
2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and black pepper to taste
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

For the panini
1 eggplant, thinly sliced
1 zucchini, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 medium tomato, thinly sliced
4 slices mozzarella cheese
4 panini rolls, cut in half, lengthwise
Salt to taste


Make the pesto
In a mixer add the basil, garlic cloves, toasted pine nuts and salt and black pepper to taste. Add the olive oil and process until you get a smooth paste (you may have to add a bit more of olive oil if needed, until you get a smooth mixture). Empty the pesto in a bowl, add the grated Parmesan cheese and stir well to combine.

Grill the vegetables
On a griddle pan over medium high heat grill the zucchini, eggplant, red bell pepper and red onion slices, turning once,  until tender and lightly brown on both sides. Remove from grill and set aside.

Heat the panini rolls

On the griddle pan place the panini rolls, flat side down and heat until lightly brown.

Assemble the panini
Take one half of the panini rolls and lay with slices of eggplant, followed by slices of zucchini, then onion, mozzarella cheese, tomato and bell peppers. Finish with a layer of the pesto sauce and light season with salt. Top with the other half and repeat with the remaining panini rolls and ingredients.

Serve immediately.
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