Creamy Pesto & Zucchini Paninis with Tangy Roasted Romanesco





  • 2 Ciabatta Rolls
  • 1 Zucchini
  • 1 head Cauliflower
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • ⅓ cup Basil Pesto
  • 1 oz Sliced Roasted Red Peppers
  • 1 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
  • ¼ cup Grated Parmesan Cheese



1.Place an oven rack in the center of the oven, then preheat to 450°F. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Cut out and discard the core of the cauliflower; cut into small florets. Place on a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper; toss to coat. Arrange in an even layer. Roast 19 to 21 minutes, or until browned and tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from the oven.



2.While the cauliflower roasts, cut the zucchini crosswise into 1/2-inch rounds. Halve the rolls. Roughly chop the peppers. If necessary, peel 1 clove of garlic. Finely chop the clove; using the flat side of your knife, smash until it resembles a paste (or use a zester).



3.While the cauliflower continues to roast, in a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the zucchini rounds in an even layer; season with salt and pepper. Cook 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until lightly browned. Turn off the heat.



4.Assemble the paninis using the halved rolls, pesto, cooked zucchini (you may have extra zucchini), chopped peppers, and half the cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Wipe out the pan used to cook the zucchini. In the same pan, heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium until hot. Add the paninis; place a heavy-bottomed pot (or pan) on top and press down. Cook, occasionally pressing down on the pot, 2 to 4 minutes per side, or until the bread is lightly browned (if the pan seems dry, add a drizzle of olive oil before flipping). Transfer to a cutting board; carefully halve on an angle.



5.While the paninis cook, in a large bowl, combine the vinegar, remaining cheese, a drizzle of olive oil, and as much of the garlic paste as you’d like. Season with salt and pepper. Add the roasted cauliflower; toss to coat. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve the cooked paninis with the dressed cauliflower. Enjoy!


Soft ciabatta rolls are piled high with sautéed zucchini, herbaceous pesto, roasted red peppers, and more, then pressed in the pan until perfectly golden brown. We’re serving them with a side of roasted cauliflower, lightly dressed with a simple vinaigrette and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.



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