This sandwich has been a family staple since I was in high school. Around the corner there was a great sandwich bistro with crazy chairs, murals, and an amazing seasonal menu. I went there so many times that they not only knew me by name, but they had a band sing for me on my birthday. Needless to say, it was a home away from home. One of my favorite sandwiches from that joint inspired this recipe. I simplified it and made it easy to replicate at home without expensive ingredients while still maintaining mouthwatering flavor. This is honestly the best grilled veggie Panini I’ve ever had anywhere. Over the years I’ve made it so many times that someone in my family can just ask for “that sandwich” and we instantly know what to make.
So! Now that you’ve heard the hype, what’s it made out of? You take lightly toasted whole grain bread, slather on sweet apricot preserves, layer with subtly charred grilled veggies, and top with creamy fontina cheese. You then toast that mother til the cheese melts to an oozy goozy consistency and the bread is golden perfection. Oh yes. I literally just drooled imagining chowing down on one of these. Not even kidding. Major drool. You now have to excuse me while I go make a midnight snack….
**this recipe makes 3 sandwiches**
2 large zucchini
2 large carrots
1 ½ red onions
1 ½ teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons apricot jam
5-6 oz fontina cheese (2oz slices for each sandwich)
6 slices whole grain bread
Salt/pepper to taste
Paprika/garlic powder (to sprinkle)
Preheat your Panini press, grill, or skillet.
Slice the zucchini, carrots, and onions (make sure they aren’t sliced too thin…you want them to hold up to grilling). Toss veggie slices in a bowl with the oil and a sprinkling of salt/pepper/paprika/garlic powder. Put veggies on the hot grill and cook for 2-4 minutes, or until lightly tender. If you use a skillet, you will lightly pan sear the veggies – 3ish minutes. Remove and reserve.
Lightly toast the bread in your toaster (I find it easier to spread on the jam when the bread firms up as it’s slightly toasted). Spread 1 tablespoon of apricot jam on one slice of bread. Repeat for the remaining jam. Layer with a few slices of zucchini, carrots, and then the red onion. Top with a slice of fontina cheese and a plain piece of bread. Repeat for the other two sandwiches.
Put the sandwiches onto the Panini press and grill with the lid closed for 3-5 minutes, or until the cheese melts and bread is golden brown. If you use a skillet, use medium-low heat and weigh the sandwich down by placing a heavy pan on top of it (you will need to flip after 3-4 minutes).
Remove the sandwiches, slice, and enjoy!