I’d been in the mood for a good grilled vegetable sandwich for a little while now. You know, the kind of sandwich that is loaded with all sorts of veggies that you’ve thrown on a hot BBQ grill after brushing them with a little bit of olive oil, salt, pepper, fresh basil, thyme, garlic. You get that smokey taste from the BBQ and the veggies stay crunchy, yet become very tender… I miss my BBQ. I can’t take winter anymore. That season is always way too long, if you ask me.

So tonight, I faked summer. I made myself a “make believe” summer BBQ grilled vegetables panini.

I simply sliced an aubergine and a zucchini, smashed half a yellow pepper to make it sort of flat, brushed all that with a mixture of olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic and loads of fresh basil, threw that in the oven under the broiler for a few minutes, while I was pan frying some mushrooms and a slab of tofu, which I also brushed with the oil mixture.

Once the veggies were done, I piled them between two slices of bread, added a couple of slices of smoked gouda, for some smokey flavor that would help remind me of summer, and I grabbed the whole thing and grilled it in the panini press. I’ve had that thing for well over, oh, I don’t know, 5 years now?, and used it for the very first time tonight. It’s a thing of beauty, really. I mean, it’s small and will only grill one sandwich at a time, but what a great little machine that is! I sure am happy with the result!

Even my daughter’s, who doesn’t care for mushroom, peppers or tofu, looked very good despite the fact that it lacked variety, in my opinion. Look at that cheese oozing. YUM!

Now if only the snow could melt, like that cheese…