So Much To Do
I've been putting off cleaning the house for way too many days now, but I must buckle down and do it pronto. Our feet are sticking to the floor a wee bit too often. Never mind that I'd rather watch videos of the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 debut in London, or see what William and Kate are doing in California, or search eBay for sassy shoes... the floors must be cleaned. It does not help that last night I was making the best sandwiches in the world (recipe to follow) when I spilled a bottle of Balsamic vinegar all over the stove and floor. I discovered that's one of the worst things you could spill--between the color that stains everything and the smell that overpowers everything else, it was not pretty. So I have no more excuses not to clean, Royal Couple or not.
So about that sandwich. I have become a huge fan of Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. She is a vegan writer, speaker, and cookbook author and she is the bomb. Seriously. Go to the dictionary and look up "da bomb" and you will see her picture. I have tried many of her recipes and so far I have not been disappointed. I would love to post them all here but I'm sure Colleen would rather we all buy her books. I told David that's all I want for my birthday--her cookbooks. Anyway, The Vegan Table is so fabulous and full of the most amazing recipes. Last night I made her Panini with Lemon-Basil Pesto. It has wiped away any memory of all other sandwiches for me because it was that good. This is a great sandwich to make for the grown-ups when you make grilled cheese for the kids.
2 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1/4 cup pine nuts
Salt to taste
2 T olive oil
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice (or more to taste)
Combine basil, garlic, pine nuts, and salt in a food processor. Mix until smooth. Add oil and lemon juice and process until smooth.
2 med. red bell peppers, cut into slices and roasted
2 zucchini squash, sliced and roasted
1 med. red onion
1 or 2 tomatoes, sliced
1 ripe avocado, sliced (I didn't have avocado, but I had some leftover guacamole that I used as a spread)
1 loaf Italian bread (such as ciabatta), sliced
2 T balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil for brushing
The recipe calls for roasted or grilled bell pepper and zucchini. I chose to slice them and soften them under the broiler in my oven. Took about 8 minutes. Roasted would probably be extra yummy, but you're mostly looking to soften the veggies. Spread pesto on a slice of bread, layer the bell pepper, squash, onion, tomatoes, and avocado evenly. Sprinkle with a little balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper. Spread more basil on the other slice of bread and place on top of the sandwich. Drizzle a little olive oil on the outside of the bread and press in a panini maker. I don't have a panini maker, so I used our pancake griddle and put olive oil on the griddle itself and put the sandwich on the griddle. Then I took a heavy baking dish and set it on top of the sandwiches. You don't want to skip that part because it condenses the sandwich and gets it heated all the way through. Flip the sandwich after 4 minutes and continue to cook until the bread is toasted and sandwich is heated through. Just try to eat this without moaning.