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Sunday Paper Dinner Table: Vegetable Panini


The Sunday Paper Dinner Table: At The Sunday Paper, we believe in the power of meaningful conversations around the table as a foundation in building a more caring, kinder and compassionate world. We want to inspire you and encourage you to gather virtually at your tables, open your hearts, and open your minds each and every week with the help of our Meaningful Conversation Starter and suggested recipe. Then report back to us and tell us about the experience. Cheers!


Meaningful Conversation Starter

Who is one of your dream dinner guests? If you could invite them to dine with you, what would you love to talk about?


Vegetable Panini
Serves 4

I love this sandwich for the way the melted mozzarella oozes over the warm vegetables, and you get a good crunch of the bread when you take your first bite. If you don’t have a panini press and you’re using a grill pan, make sure you use a spat- ula to press down on the sandwich heavily and often throughout the process.


Special equipment: Panini press or grill pan Wire rack


IN A LARGE SAUTÉ PAN, heat the canola oil over medium-high heat. Season the tomato slices with salt and white pepper. Sauté the tomato slices for 3 to 4 minutes, until soft, then transfer to a plate to cool.

Preheat a panini press (or a grill pan) to medium-high heat, making sure the cooking surface is very clean. Lightly season the zucchini, summer squash, and eggplant with salt and white pepper. Working in batches, grill the slices about 1 minute per side, transferring the cooked vegetables to a wire rack to cool.

Slice open the sandwich rolls and fill each with a layer of tomato, zucchini, summer squash, eggplant, and 2 slices of mozzarella. Close the sandwiches.

Cooking two at a time, place the sandwiches in the panini press and press the sandwiches for about 2 minutes per side (or cook on a grill pan, pressing down hard with a spatula). Keep warm and repeat with the remaining sandwiches. Slice in half and serve hot.

From Vegetable Simple by Eric Ripert. Reprinted with permission of the publisher. 


Eric Ripert is the chef and co-owner of the New York restaurant Le Bernardin, which holds three stars from the Michelin Guide and has maintained a four-star rating from The New York Times for more than two decades. He is vice chairman of the board of City Harvest, a New York-based food rescue organization, as well as a recipient of the Legion d’Honneur, France’s highest honor. He serves as a regular guest judge on Bravo’s Top Chef and is the host of his own TV series, Avec Eric, which has won Emmy and James Beard awards. Ripert is the author of five cookbooks, including Avec Eric, On the Line, A Return to Cooking, Le Bernardin—Four Star Simplicity, My Best: Eric Ripert, and his latest, Vegetable Simple.

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