Grilled Vegetable Panini

Older niece is on her way to becoming a forensic psychologist but younger niece seems set on becoming a chef. During a family reunion younger niece, a vegetarian, had an idea to create grilled veggie paninis with an avocado based pesto. It was a great idea that became the most memorable meal of the reunion.

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Avocado Pesto

  • 2 Avocados, peeled, pitted
  • 1- 2 C Basil, loosely packed
  • 1/2 C Pine nuts
  • 3-4 T Lemon juice
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, chopped
  • 3 T Olive Oil
  • 1-2 t Salt
  • 1-2 t Black Pepper

Put everything into a food processor and pulse until desired consistency

Garlic Oil

  • 1/4 Olive Oil
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, chopped

Combine ingredients in a small bowl and let sit for at least 1 hour. Strain off oil to a bowl.


  • Eggplant, sliced into 1/2″ rounds
  • Red/Orange Bells, de-seeded, sliced into 1/2″ rounds
  • Purple Onion, peeled, cut into quarters
  • Portobello Mushrooms, sliced into 1″ strips
  • Zucchini, sliced lengthwise in 1/2″ strips
  • Avocado, peeled, pitted, sliced into 1/2″ strips
  • 2 Baguettes
  • 1/4 Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
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Drizzle olive oil over all veggies, except avocado of course, season with salt and pepper then grill (broil) to desired doneness. Slice baguette into sandwich-sized pieces, coat the inside top and bottom with avocado pesto, about 2-3 T each. Baste outside top and bottom with garlic oil. Layer veggies in the baguette, then press in a panini maker for 4-5 minutes or until done. Adding avocado in strategic locations will help to keep the panini together.

We cheated a bit and ordered a panini maker to arrive at the family reunion beforehand. If you don’t have one you could easily just grill or broil them, however the result will be a little sloppier since the panini press compacts the ingredients which stay in place a little better afterwards.



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