Monday, November 18, 2013

Roasted Vegetable and Goat Cheese Panini

When I was a workin' girl, I was lucky enough to have free lunch at my office. That's right, people; there is such a thing as free lunch. The cafeteria offered a hot entree, salad bar, soup, and pizza. My favorite, though, was always the sandwich station.

I'd walk up to Bill the Sandwich Guy every day at 12:15, and he'd say, "The usual?" And it would be the usual. Because I'm a creature of habit, and I ate the same thing for lunch 99% of the time. (Turkey on wheat with a little bit of honey mustard, lettuce, and tomato.) Every once in a while, though, I'd live on the edge and order one of the seasonal specials.

Now that I'm years removed, the details of the special sandwiches are a little fuzzy. There was the one on the pretzel roll, and that other one on a baguette. But there is one sandwich that I remember like I'm spilling it's crumbs on my keyboard as I type. A whole wheat ciabbata roll was schmeared with herbed goat cheese, topped with roasted vegetables and a handful of mixed greens, then grilled to crunchy, melty perfection.

Recently the memory would suffice no more. I had to have the special sandwich again. So I made it. And I ate it. And good gosh it was as wonderful as I remembered.

I think Bill the Sandwich Guy would be proud.

Roasted Vegetable and Goat Cheese Panini

1 small zucchini, halved and cut into 1/4" slices
1 small yellow squash, halved and cut into 1/4" slices
5 ounces mushrooms, cut into 1" cubes
1/2 red pepper, cut into thin 1" strips
1/2 sweet red onion, cut into 1" slices
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper
2 1/2 ounces goat cheese, softened
2 whole wheat ciabatta rolls
1 cup mixed greens

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss together zucchini, squash, mushrooms, red pepper, onion, 1 teaspoon rosemary, oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Roast for 20 minutes, until vegetables are golden brown and tender, stirring halfway through.

Meanwhile heat panini press. Stir together goat cheese, remaining 1/2 teaspoon rosemary, and pepper to taste. Spread goat cheese on the cut halves of both ciabatta rolls. Top bottom halves of the rolls with roasted vegetables* and a handful of mixed greens. Close up sandwiches with the top halves of the rolls. Grill in panini press for 4-5 minutes until everything is hot and the bread is toasted.

*You may have some leftover vegetables. Use them up in a salad, eat them plain, or make another panini!

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