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Recipes: broccolini and onion panini

Even if you do not own a Panini maker, and have nowhere to store one if you did, you don’t have to settle for the same old cold sandwiches day after day.

Panini maker
Panini maker

Traditionally, a Panini is a pressed masterpiece made with artisanal bread, veggies, meat and melted cheese. While normally high in fat and calories, you can slim yours down by following these tips:

  • Avoid processed meats: Instead of using proteins like salami or pepperoni, choose leaner options such as smoked chicken, turkey pastrami or turkey ham.
  • Pump up the vegetables: Add extra flavor and more filling by adding nutrient-dense fillings like baby spinach, sliced tomatoes and roasted peppers.
  • Skip presliced cheese: Instead, use shaved Parmesan or pecorino or opt for a sprinkling of bold-tasting crumbles, such as Gorgonzola or feta.
  • Keep tabs on bread: Instead of using Italian rolls, cut a crusty loaf into thin (1 ounce) slices.
  • Stop slathering: Most Panini makers come with nonstick interiors, negating the need to spread butter or oil on the bread. If not, a light coating of nonstick spray will suffice nicely.

Now put the Panini concept to the test with this delicious recipe for a broccolini and onion Panini.


  • 1 large red onion, halved lengthwise, then thinly sliced crosswise
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 6 Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
  • ½ pound Broccolini (Aspiration)
  • 4 (1 ounce) slices ciabatta
  • 2 (1 ounce) slices part-skim pepper Jack cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 450ᵒF
  2. Place onion in baking pan, spray with nonstick spray
  3. Add thyme and toss to coat
  4. Bake, stirring twice, until tender – 30 minutes
  5. Stir in olives
  6. Meanwhile, bring large saucepan of lightly salted water to boil. Add Broccolini and cook 3 minutes. Drain, pat dry with paper towels.
  7. Preheat Panini maker
  8. Divide onion mixture on 2 slices of bread. Top evenly with Broccolini, cheese and remaining bread
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