Roasted Red Pepper and Nondairy Cheese Panini

A panini is an Italian-style sandwich grilled in a sandwich press, usually recognized by those nifty horizontal marks on the finished product. You can find panini presses just about anywhere. The roasted red pepper in this nondairy version packs the sandwich with flavor, and the nondairy cheese adds just the right amount of gooey goodness.

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

Yield: 2 servings

Special equipment: Panini press

4 slices of thick, rustic-style bread, such as sourdough or Italian

4 tablespoons olive oil

4 slices of nondairy mozzarella-style cheese

Two large roasted red peppers packed in oil

Black olives (optional)

  1. Use a pastry brush to liberally coat one side of each slice of bread with olive oil.

  2. Place two slices of bread, oiled side down, on the bottom of the panini press. Layer two slices of cheese and one roasted red pepper (arrange to fit) on each slice of bread. Top each sandwich with a second slice of bread, placed oiled side up.

  3. Place the weighted top of the panini press on top of the sandwiches and cook on medium-high heat until the sandwich sizzles, the cheese melts, and the bread browns, about 5 minutes. When the sandwiches are done, remove the top press and use a spatula to lift sandwiches off the panini press. Serve hot with black olives (if desired).

Experiment with other fillings and spreads like a smear of pesto sauce or mayonnaise, or add several fresh spinach leaves or grilled onions.

Per serving: Calories 828 (331 from Fat); Fat 37g (Saturated 5g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 1,731mg; Carbohydrate 101g (Dietary Fiber 6g); Protein 25g.

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