Keep it simple tonight with this roasted pepper, greens and cheese panini sandwich recipe

Green panini with roasted peppers and Gruyere cheese
Green panini with roasted peppers and Gruyere cheese
(Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

When you’re looking for the perfect quick dinner or a meal you can eat on the go, you can’t do better than a great sandwich. This recipe comes courtesy of chef and cookbook writer Deborah Madison and her husband, Patrick McFarlin, in their book, “What We Eat When We Eat Alone.” Pile ciabatta bread with wilted mustard greens, roasted red peppers and plenty of Gruyere cheese, then heat it in a panini maker or skillet until the bread is nicely toasted and the cheese is melted.


Total time: 25 minutes | Serves 1

Note: Adapted from “What We Eat When We Eat Alone” by Deborah Madison and Patrick McFarlin. It is one of McFarlin’s favorites. This recipe makes more mustard greens than are used in the sandwich.


1 bunch mustard greens, stemmed and washed but not dried

½ cup water

Salt and pepper

1 garlic clove, pressed or minced


Red pepper flakes, a few pinches or to taste

Pepper sauce or red wine vinegar, to taste

2 pieces ciabatta, or your favorite rustic bread

Olive oil

Grated Gruyere or fontina cheese

Roasted bell pepper cut into wide strips

Dijon mustard

1. Put the mustard greens in a pot over high heat with the water that clings to the leaves plus ½ cup. Sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt, pepper to taste, garlic and the pepper flakes and cover. After the leaves have collapsed, reduce the heat to medium and cook until they’re tender when you taste one, about 7 minutes. Drain, then squeeze the excess water out of the greens. Put them in a bowl and season with additional salt, if needed, and pepper sauce or vinegar to taste.


2. Slather the outside of the bread with olive oil. Cover one slice of the bread (the dry side) with cheese, pile on a half or a third of the greens, and add the pepper strips. Spread the top slice with Dijon mustard, then cover.

3. Cook in your panini maker or in a skillet until the bread is crispy and the cheese melts. When a wave of melted cheese hits the hot surface, there’s a bonus tang, but don’t let it burn. Slice it diagonally; it’s easier to eat that way and it looks jaunty too.

Each sandwich: 611 calories; 20 grams protein; 73 grams carbohydrates; 9 grams fiber; 27 grams fat; 6 grams saturated fat; 16 mg. cholesterol; 1,447 mg. sodium.

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