ArrowDownFill 1arrow-small-lineFill 1Cooking Light - EasyCooking Light - FastCooking Light - So GoodCooking Light - How-ToCooking Light - Staff FaveCooking Light Badge - Wow!GroupClose IconEmailEmpty Star IconLike Cooking Light on FacebookFull Star IconShapePage 1 Copy 3Page 1 Copy 2Grid IconHalf Star IconFollow Cooking Light on InstagramList IconMenu IconPrintSearch IconSpeech BubbleFollow Cooking Light on SnapchatFollow Cooking Light on TwitterWatch Cooking Light on YouTubeplay-iconWatch Cooking Light on Youtube

Grilled Caponata Panini

Photo: Caitlin Bensel
Active time 40 mins
Total time 40 mins

Serves 4 (serving size: 1 sandwich)

The wide surface area of your grill is perfect for a big batch of summer vegetables. Even though everything cooks at once, each vegetable, from slender green onions to meaty eggplant, takes on just the right amount of char. Cut the vegetables lengthwise into planks (long, 1/2-inch-thick slices) so they’ll be easier to maneuver. We blend some of the grilled sweet peppers and red onion with capers and olives for a smoky, Sicilian-inspired spread on the sandwiches. For toasty bread, let the cast-iron skillet heat on the grill while the vegetables cook before using the skillet to press the sandwiches.


  • Vegetables:
  • 2 medium zucchini, cut lengthwise into 1/2-in.-thick slices
  • 2 medium yellow squash, cut lengthwise into 1/2-in.-thick slices
  • 1 medium eggplant, cut lengthwise into 1/2-in.-thick slices
  • 1 medium red onion, cut into 3/4-in. wedges
  • 4 ounces mini bell peppers (about 8)
  • 3 green onions
  • Cooking spray
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • Panini:
  • 1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons capers, drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 4 (3 1/2-oz.) ciabatta rolls, halved lengthwise
  • 3 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

Nutrition Information

  • calories 358
  • fat 15.6 g
  • satfat 4.2 g
  • monofat 8.7 g
  • polyfat 1.5 g
  • protein 12 g
  • carbohydrate 43 g
  • fiber 4 g
  • cholesterol 17 mg
  • iron 3 mg
  • sodium 727 mg
  • calcium 44 mg
  • sugars 6 g
  • Est. Added Sugars 0 g

How to Make It

  1. To prepare vegetables, preheat grill to medium-high (about 450°F). Coat first 6 ingredients with cooking spray; arrange on grill grate. Grill green onions 2 minutes; remove from grill and chop. Grill remaining vegetables 5 more minutes, turning occasionally. Remove stems and seeds from bell peppers; discard. Reserve 4 bell peppers and 4 red onion wedges; cut remaining vegetables into 2-inch pieces.

  2. Place chopped green onions, oil, juice, 1 tablespoon water, salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and garlic in a food processor; process until smooth. Combine grilled vegetables and green onion mixture in a bowl. Reserve 4 cups vegetable mixture for Farro Burrito Bowls and Grilled Vegetable Frittata.

  3. To prepare panini, place reserved 4 bell peppers and 4 red onion wedges in food processor with olives, capers, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and ground red pepper; process until smooth. Hollow out top and bottom halves of rolls, leaving a 1/2-inch-thick shell. Spread bell pepper mixture over bottom halves of rolls; top with remaining grilled vegetables, mozzarella, basil, and top halves of rolls.

  4. Coat grill grate with cooking spray. Place 2 sandwiches on grill; top with a cast-iron skillet. Grill 2 minutes on each side or until cheese melts. Repeat procedure with remaining 2 sandwiches.