On the Menu: Roasted Baby Bella, Tomato & Mozzarella Panini
Welcome to another edition of “On the Menu”, a place where I share some of my tried and true recipes in case you’re looking for a little dinnertime inspiration, along with serving suggestions and tips for getting dinner on the table quickly. This week I’m sharing a yummy panini recipe made with roasted baby bella mushrooms, tomatoes, and mozzarella.
Before we get into the details, though, I need to tell you about my new panini press. For years I used our countertop George Foreman Grill whenever I wanted to make a panini, but it was kind of a frustrating experience. The plates on the grill weren’t removable so they were really difficult to clean, and if I made a thick sandwich the bread would usually shift around after I closed the lid, creating a huge, unappetizing mess.
I started looking around for a real panini press at about the same time that I realized our old waffle iron was shedding its nonstick coating (yuck!), and stumbled upon the Cuisinart Griddler. It’s a panini press, waffle maker, and griddle all in one – and as an added bonus it actually costs less than some of the panini-only appliances out there. It comes with different plates that snap in and out of it easily and can be put in the dishwasher for super-fast clean-up. Also, it has a “floating hinge” that helps the plates line up evenly over thick sandwiches – no annoying bread-shifting problems to deal with. Honestly, it’s been a little bit life-changing. If you love a good panini and don’t have a panini press yet, you have to check it out. And this is the first panini you should make on it:
Baby Bella, Tomato & Mozzarella Panini
- 2 cups baby bella mushrooms, chopped
- 1/2 cup green onions, chopped
- 1 tsp. dried rosemary
- 1 tsp. dried thyme
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinaigrette dressing
- 4 hoagie rolls, sliced in half
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 2 tomatoes, sliced
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup basil, chopped
Preheat oven to 375° and preheat panini press. Chop baby bella mushrooms and place in a 9x13 roasting pan. Stir in balsamic vinaigrette dressing, rosemary, thyme and green onions and bake for 15 minutes, stirring once or twice during cooking.
In a small bowl, stir basil into mayonnaise and spread on the inside halves of hoagie rolls. When mushrooms are finished roasting, use a slotted spoon and divide among bottom halves of the rolls. Top with 1/4 cup mozzarella and 2 tomato slices and close the sandwich. Depending on the size of your panini press, place one or two sandwiches on the heated plate and close the lid for 4-5 minutes.
Allow panini to cool slightly before cutting in half. Enjoy!
Peach Blossom Tips:
*Don’t have a panini press? You can still make a yummy panini by heating a greased skillet on your stove, placing the sandwich on the skillet, and then pressing down on it using another pan or plate while it cooks. You’ll need to flip the panini over after a few minutes and repeat the process so that both sides are nice and toasted.
*If you know you are going to be rushed getting dinner on the table, you can roast the mushroom mixture a couple of days ahead of time and then all that’s left to do at dinnertime is panini assembly and pressing.
*This recipe goes great with a simple green salad, a maple balsamic quinoa salad, or sweet potato fries.
If you try the Baby Bella, Tomato & Mozzarella Panini, comment below and let me know how you liked it!