Almost every week my girlfriends and I try to get together either for a happy hour at a restaurant or a low-key dinner at someone's house. Our schedules are all over the place, but we all make an effort to clear them since "girl time" is a necessity for us.
Last Thursday we headed over to our BFF's house for some wine drinking, girl gabbing, and panini pressing.
Sarah, another BFF of mine and blogger behind of "Life of a Frye" , is currently working through her "30 Before 30" list and requested our meal be vegetarian since she was practicing being one for a week. We opted on grilling some delicious veggie paninis. *We adapted this recipe from the original.*
I brought over one of my favorite kitchen tools ever to help with the process: The T-Fal OptiGrill!
If you've been following along with the blog for a while now, you know I this use for anything that calls for grilling. It's a countertop grill that can cook steaks, chicken, fish, sausage, etc. It also has removable grill plates that are dishwasher safe to make for an easy clean up!
Grilled Zucchini, Bell Pepper, & Avocado Panini
- 2 large zucchini, trimmed and sliced lengthwise into 6 to 8 1/4-inch-thick slices (12 to 16 slices total)
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup whole-milk ricotta
- 1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
- 8 1/2-inch-thick slices sourdough bread
1. Prepare a medium-high (425°F to 450°F) gas or charcoal grill fire or heat up your panini press if you have one. You can also cook in a 12-inch heavy-duty skillet over medium-high heat for 2 to 3 minutes on each side.
2. Brush the zucchini slices with oil and season with salt and pepper.
3. Grill the zucchini until grill marks form on one side, about 2 minutes. Flip the slices and continue to grill until tender, about 1 to 2 minutes more.
4. In a small bowl, mix the ricotta, lemon zest, 3/4 tsp. pepper, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Spread 4 slices of bread with the ricotta mixture, top each with 3 to 4 slices of the grilled zucchini, red bell pepper, avocado, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top with 4 more slices of the bread.
5. Brush both sides of the sandwiches with oil and grill in a hot panini press until crisp and golden-brown, about 4 minutes.
We served with a Ceasar salad, more wine, and Sarah's "Mexican Cavier", corn & black bean salsa.