Roasted Portabella Mushroom Panini

Recipe courtesy of Chef Paul Sturkey, Mesh Restaurant, West Chester, Ohio


Yield: 4


Sundried Tomato Pesto
10 pieces (4 ounces) marinated sundried tomatoes, drained
1/2 cup sliced or slivered almonds, toasted
4 teaspoons minced garlic
2 cups fresh basil leaves
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 1/2  tablespoons minced garlic
2  teaspoons granulated onion
Salt and pepper
4 medium portabella mushrooms, washed and stemmed
2 zucchini, sliced lengthwise 1/4 inch thick
2 yellow squash, sliced lengthwise 1/4 inch thick
4 1/4-inch red onion slices
2 red bell peppers, seeded, cut into 2-inch-wide pieces

8 3 to 4-inch slices ciabatta
4 ounces Manouri or other fresh sheep’s-milk cheese
12 fresh basil leaves
Balsamic vinegar, as needed
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened


To make Sundried Tomato Pesto: Combine sundried tomatoes, almonds, garlic and basil in food processor, puree. With motor running, add oil, puree until smooth.

In large bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, garlic, onion, and salt and pepper to taste. In a baking dish, toss each kind of vegetable with some of the vinaigrette, marinate for 2 to 3 hours.

Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Drain vegetables, grill each kind until tender, 5 to 6 minutes.

For each sandwich: Brush 2 bread slices with 1 tablespoon Sundried Tomato Pesto each. Layer bottom half with 1 ounce cheese, 1 portabella, some of each grilled vegetable and 3 basil leaves. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Brush outsides of bread with softened butter. Cook on a griddle or panini maker until cheese is melted, 5 to 7 minutes. Slice on the diagonal and serve immediately.


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