Grilled Vegetable Panini with Asian Tapenade

from Mary Ann Esposito, Ming Tsai

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Serves 4

1 small eggplant
1 small zucchini
1/2 cup Asian Tapenade
1 ball fresh mozzarella
8 slices semolina bread
Mesclun greens dressed with balsamic vinaigrette
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Cut eggplant and zucchini into 1/4-inch slices, lengthwise. Brush the eggplant and zucchini slices with olive oil, season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, and bake them on a sheet pan until they are slightly limp.

Transfer the slices to a cutting board. Spread a little of the Asian Tapenade on each slice of eggplant and zucchini.

Brush olive oil on slice of bread, place an eggplant slice on top, then add mozzarella cheese. Top the cheese with a zucchini slice and more cheese. Place the second slice of bread over the cheese. Grill in a panini press until bread is colored and cheese is melted. Serve warm with side salad.

This recipe appears in Episode #403.