You guys know how much I love Princess Cafe, and I tried to recreate their vegetarian panini sandwich the other day! I used zucchini instead of grilled eggplant, goat cheese and cheddar rather than brie, ditched the pesto, artichoke caponata, and roasted red peppers. I also added some sliced avocado.
The great thing about paninis is that you can mix-and-match to make a sandwich based on what you’re craving and what you have in the fridge!
You will need…
- 2 slices bread (I like multigrain or 100% whole wheat. Here I used sprouted flax and wheat)
- Zucchini, sliced into wide and flat strips
- Thinly-sliced tomato
- 1/3 avocado
- Cheddar cheese (I like Balderson’s aged white cheddar)
- Goat cheese, crumbled
First, I “grilled” my zucchini by letting it soften and sear on a nonstick skillet with a small smear of butter. Once it was softened, I turned up the heat to let it turn slightly golden brown.
Don’t forget to season as you go. I sprinkled a big pinch of truffle salt and black pepper on top of these juicy tomatoes. You can also use roasted red peppers in place of the tomatoes. I was just too lazy to open my jar 😛
Avocado is called “butter fruit” in traditional Mandarin Chinese, and for a good reason. It adds mellow creaminess to this sandwich, as well as lots of nutrition! I put on another shake of black pepper here.
Oh! Remember that cheddar is working as your “glue” here, so you’ll want some cheddar touching both sides of the bread to stick it to your fillings. Does that make sense? Plop the second piece of bread on top.
Smear some butter into a nonstick skillet (my ceramic one is honestly the #1 cooking device in my kitchen – I use it for everything from omelettes to paninis) and press the sandwich over medium-low heat until the outsides are crispy. I like placing a sheet of aluminum foil on top and then something heavy (oatmeal saucepan) to make the sandwich a little flatter. The crispy edges are the best!
So… this sandwich was so memorable that I made a similar but different version the next day! If you know me, I am anything but a meal-repeater. But I wanted something warm, toasty, and loaded with veggies and cheese.
This version also includes grilled zucchini, but omits the sharp white cheddar and tomatoes. I used a big roasted red pepper instead of the tomatoes, and I think I prefer the roasted red peppers. 🙂 The last of my goat cheese, too.
I made this sandwich while Madhulika (the roomie!) grated cheese for the vegetarian lasagna she was making. Lasagna. I know. What a talented cook, right? She bought a massive pot – seriously, it barely fits in the sink – to cook the veggies before adding marinara sauce and layering it with sharp cheddar and lasagna noodles. It looked so yummy that I picked up a jar of kale-basil marinara sauce from Zehr’s (grocery store) today to make something like that.
We I made a big mess in the kitchen. Don’t worry, Mom… I cleaned it up. After.
While grilling the sandwich, I heated up some soup. This was from Healthy Foods and More. It’s called the Berkeley Butternut and is made with butternut squash, yams, and a bit of cream. This is one of the best soups I’ve ever had! Love squash.
The creamy soup went very well with my sandwich, which was crispy and fresh with avocado, zucchini, and roasted red peppers. I added extra goat cheese today, so it was really creamy and flavourful. A sprinkle of pepper with the sandwich ingredients goes a long way as well.
I brought my soup and sandwich into my room to eat so I could watch some videos and talk to Mom and Seline. Yum, yum, yum… a million times yum!
Especially with that incredible soup. I’m so glad Mom convinced me to buy a pack (it was $3.00 off), even though it expires soon. Woo!
Take that, Princess Cafe!
… just kidding. I’ll never beat their incredible sandwiches.
Here’s the comparison, if you were curious! Next time I’ll have to pick up a jar of pesto and some brie cheese from Sobey’s. I think those two ingredients really made their sammie special. 🙂
Have an awesome week everyone!