This sandwich idea came to me as a spin-off of one of my favorite sandwiches at a cafe near my office in DC. It’s called “The Mediterranean” and it’s a veggie-loaded panini. Every time I eat here, I get the same sandwich and it’s one of those sandwiches I crave from time to time. However, it’s not exactly the cheapest sandwich. My total always comes to about $8.50 and that’s a little too much for me for a simple sandwich that I can make on my own — which is how this recipe begun. I knew this sandwich was easy enough to make on my own. I’ve eaten it numerous times to know what is in it and it’s easily modifiable to give you many variations. The original sandwich has asparagus, red bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, melted provolone cheese, and a garlic hummus spread on focaccia. I used all those veggies but instead of a garlic hummus, I used a red pepper hummus to bring out the red pepper flavor more. I also sauteed my veggies in olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
There are so many varieties of this sandwich. I was thinking I could use grilled zucchini, onions, mushrooms, and artichoke hearts with Swiss cheese next time. I’m also going to use my panini press next time so I can have a nice sear on the outside. This time, I used my oven’s broiler to melt the cheese and to toast/warm the bread. This is a nice hearty & healthy sandwich to change up your week! If you aren’t a fan of a sandwich full of veggies, you can easily add shredded chicken to it or turkey slices, etc.
The Mediterranean [Sandwich]
1 loaf of focaccia bread
Handful of asparagus, stems cut off
1/2 yellow onion, sliced
7-8 button mushrooms, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
A container of roasted red pepper hummus (obviously you won’t use all of this so pick up some pita chips for snacking!)
Couple slices of provolone cheese
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp. olive oil
- In a large skillet, on medium high heat, throw in your asparagus, onion, mushroom and red pepper with some olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle some salt and pepper on top for seasoning.
- Cook the veggies until they’re soft and a little wilted. Take off heat.
- Take your loaf of focaccia and cut the ends off. Then cut the bread in half, long ways, then slice the bread in squares.
- Use a knife and spread a heaping amount of hummus on side of the bread. Put the provolone cheese on. Repeat for the other slices of bread that are going to be the tops of the sandwich.
- On a baking sheet, put the bread with the cheese/hummus, cheese side up and put in the oven with the broiler on high. Remove once the cheese has melted.
- To assemble your sandwich, load up the veggies on the slice of bread that’s the bottom side of the sandwich. You can add more hummus if you want.
- Put the bread with your cheese on top and smush it.
- At this point, if you’re using a panini press, go ahead and put it on the panini press and heat it until there are nice sear marks on the outside of your bread..
- Enjoy with some chips or pita chips!