Farmer’s markets make me happy. There is something about the open air and real people showing their goods that just makes me smile from ear to ear. I try to go to at least once a week, twice if I am lucky. Sometimes I leave with one thing and sometimes bags of produce, but I always feel a great sense of satisfaction for supporting my local vendors and excitement for the endless possibilities of uses for my haul.
I Ventured into San Antonio recently and went to the Pearl Brewery’s Saturday market. While it was fairly small, I got some amazing produce, fresh baked bread, and cage free eggs! After sampling this whole wheat sourdough I knew that I was having a toasted sandwich for lunch. The golden zucchini and eggplant I picked up made the perfect sandwich filler.
Zucchini and Goat Cheese Panini
Makes 4 Sandwiches
2 Zucchini, I used Golden
2 Japanese eggplant
2 tomatoes, sliced
1/2 red onion
12 basil leaves
1 avocado, pitted and sliced
4 oz. Goat cheese
fresh ground black pepper
8 slices of bread, I used a whole wheat sourdough
2 tbsp. butter
Start by slicing your zucchini lengthwise as thinly as possible. I used a mandoline for this. I also thin sliced the eggplant and red onion crosswise with the mandoline. The thin slices just make the cooking quicker and I think they layer on the sandwiches better. Brush or mist the vegetables with olive oil and a little salt and pepper.
To cook the zucchini and eggplant I grilled them, but you could also do this is on a grill pan over medium heat or by roasting them in a 350°F oven. Just make sure that the pan or baking sheet is also oiled so the thin slices don’t stick and come apart. Also keep a close eye on them because they don’t need to cook long. I did 2-3 minutes on each side.
To assemble the sandwich I started by spreading goat cheese on all 8 bread slices. I think the goat cheese being on both sides helps the sandwich melt together. You can go as heavy or light on the cheese as you want. I didn’t use all 4 ounces. I then layered the grilled zucchini and eggplant, followed by a few slices of red onion, tomato, and avocado. Last I placed on the basil (you could do whole leaves or you could chiffonade it if you don’t want to bite into a whole basil leaf) and the second slice of bread goat cheese side down.
To cook the sandwiches I heated a nonstick skillet over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of butter. Working 2 sandwiches at a time, I place them in the skillet and cooked until brown and toasty on both sides, about 3-4 minutes flipping once. If your sandwiches are thicker you may want to place a heavy skillet on top of them while cooking to press them down. Repeat with remaining 2 sandwiches and 1 tablespoon of butter.
Slice in half and Enjoy!