Panini with red pepper puree, pesto, and fontina; grilled, marinated zucchini and eggplant – 14 September 2012

I was intending to make a pizza tonight, but got home after 5 to find I no longer had any frozen doughs. I did find the frozen Semifreddi ciabatta roll. I decided to make a panino instead, cutting it into two panini for the two of us.

I defrosted one cube each of red pepper puree and pesto, and cut the roll horizontally, first to flatten the top, more or less, and then to make it into two pieces of “bread.” I spread the pesto onto the top slice and the red pepper puree onto the bottom, after pouring off thin liquid – mostly water – from the red pepper sauce cube. I used our cheese planer to cut about two total layers of Fontina Valle d’Aosta that I bought quite a few weeks ago. I think even one planed layer would work fine, though two layers was also good.

I wanted to use the last two Japanese eggplants from our friend J, and decided on the marinated, grilled veggie recipe from epicurious that I have used a few times before. I asked D to buy us some small zucchini, and I cut both the eggplants and two zucchini into strips of perhaps 3/8″ thickness. I put these into my Russel Wright grey vegetable dishes, and covered with chopped mint leaves in olive oil (the zucchini) and chopped basil and minced garlic in olive oil (eggplant). I grilled these on medium high, and they took awhile but they were really nicely done – very thoroughly. We learned that the admonition in the recipe to serve the rest of the marinade over the top of the veggies was important. It made them really scrumptious.

We had our usual Friday wine, which Costco has unfortunately stopped carrying. Fortunately, we bought quite a few cases before they quit, so we have a lot, but unfortunately, we would like to buy quite a few more cases. Their loss – and ours. Cantina Zaccagnini Montepulciano d’Abruzzo – terrific wine. We love it.

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