Paninis are such comfort foods to me. Even without cheese or meat, anything you sandwich and press on a hot grill pan = divine.
I’ve kept this one vegan by spreading some puréed bean spread as a binder instead of cheese. The eggplant, tomato, and onion are sort of a classic combination but one I certainly can’t get enough of! Eggplant somehow tastes so much better pressed into a sandwich on a grill – don’t cha think?
Red Onion (1/2)
Cannellini Beans (12 oz)
Chives (3 stems)
Salt + Pepper
Gluten Free Bread
Slice up the eggplant into 1/4″ pieces and let soak in a bowl of salted water.
Drain and rinse the garbanzo beans. Place in a blender with the juice of a lemon, olive oil, chives, salt + pepper. Purée until smooth.
Slice up the tomato into slices and set aside.
Slice up the red onion.
Heat your grill or griddle pan. Spray with olive oil and add the onions first. Allow them to caramelize. Once they have cooked, remove from the grill/griddle and set aside.
Drain the eggplant slices and dry them with paper towels. Brush both sides of each eggplant with olive oil and season with salt + pepper.
Add your eggplant slices to the grill/griddle to get char marks on them. Set them aside as they charr.
Assemble your paninis by spreading the bean purée on the bread. Then add the eggplant, tomato, red onion, eggplant (or whatever order you prefer).
Place the panini on the grill/griddle pressed down by a panini press. Cook both sides for about 3-4 minutes each.