Roasted Vegetable Panini.

Winter in New York is far too long. As in, it starts to tease its way in around October or so, and come December it’s gotten MUCH too comfortable using your theoretical toothbrush. By March, it’s drinking milk directly from the container and always finishing the toilet paper, but then neglecting to replace the roll. And you’re all, “Get the hell out!” and it’s all, “Yeah, yeah, I’m going.” And then it’s around for at least two more months. It’s pretty inconsiderate.

This weekend, we got a little preview of what it will be like come mid-May. The sun was out, the weather was 70s-ish, and people were busting out the shorts and sundresses in droves. I went with a group to the Central Park Boathouse for champagne and Lily Pulitzer-spotting. It was like Class and Prep had a lovechild, and I somehow finagled an invite to the bris. I planned to use my new camera (complete with TWELVE mega pixels- thanks Daddy!) to capture all the sun-soaked day drinking, and I somehow ended up with one picture to commemorate the day:



Doesn’t his face just say it all? I don’t even know this kid, but I found him fascinating. WHAT was with the flower?!  Blind date? Spring fetish? I can’t be sure. He was everything that was right about Saturday at the Boathouse, though.

After several hours of park time, I was in need of a serious meal that no food cart could remedy. I went home and fired up the Panini Press, and sliced tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, portabella mushrooms and red onions for my innards. I roasted the veggies with olive oil, salt and pepper in the toaster oven at 450 degrees for 15 minutes until they looked like this:

roasted veggies

roasted veggies

Meanwhile, my Press was like raring and ready to go, so I lubed up the ciabatta (with olive oil, duh) and pressed the slices for 4 minutes. Then, I layered the veggies along with a slice of brie, and prepared to press.  Before flattened, my panini looked like this:

pre-pressed panini

pre-pressed panini

I know I should love all my paninis equally, but this one was really special. Like, I’m pretty sure it would take care of me in my old age. I’d like to think the pear and taleggio and the apple and brie wouldn’t hang me out to dry as soon as I start losing bowel control and whatnot, but I really can’t be sure. Gun to my head, I’d have to say that roasted vegetable would build an extension on its house and buy me the complete DVD series of “Saved by the Bell” long before apple and brie could be bothered to inconvenience itself. I guess only time will tell.

Anyways, I served my roasted vegetable panini with that delicious champagne pear vinagrette I mentioned before. A-maze-ing. See below:

Roasted Vegetable Panini

Roasted Vegetable Panini

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April 2009


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