Grilled Veggie & Goat Cheese Panini

These grilled veggie and goat cheese paninis are one of my new favorite things to make for a vegetarian meal. The best part is you can double your veggies and use them as a side dish one night and use the leftovers on a panini the next day. I used our favorite sourdough bread but any bread you prefer would be great.  I do realize that goat cheese is a strong flavor, not for everyone, so if you don't love it an easy sub would be cream cheese or brie.

I make paninis on our indoor grill, but you can make them in a regular skillet with another pan over the top to flatten it a little bit.  My in-laws got us a George Foreman Grill last Christmas--we love using it for almost everything, seriously.  Potatoes, breakfast sausages, burgers, chicken, frozen meatballs, fish, veggies, paninis, the list goes on.  I highly recommend it.  It's great for use especially in this climate, because I hate to turn on the oven from March-November!

Anywho...on to the panini, use this recipe as a guide and use whichever veggies you prefer!

Grilled Veggie & Goat Cheese Panini

2 yellow or red bell peppers, quartered and seeded
1 zuchini, thinly sliced
1 yellow squash, thinly sliced
1 red onion, thinly sliced
2 portobello mushrooms
1 1/2 c. italian dressing
few dashes hot sauce
2-3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
8 slices french or sourdough bread
8 Tb. (or more) goat cheese
olive oil for bread (I used my oil sprayer)

A few hours ahead of time, or the night before, put all the veggies in a large ziploc or a 9x13 pan.  In a medium bowl mix together the italian dressing, hot sauce and garlic.  Pour the dressing over the veggies to marinate.

First, grill the veggies, in two batches if necessary, and set aside.  You could also roast the veggies in the oven if that's more convenient. To make paninis, heat a panini press, indoor grill or skillet.  Spray or drizzle one side of each piece of bread with olive oil.  Layer 1 tb. (or more) goat cheese, peppers, zuchini, squash, onion and mushrooms.  Grill until golden brown on each side.  Perfect with oven fries!

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