- 4 sourdough demi-baguettes or rolls, halved lengthwise
- 4 slices provolone cheese, halved
- 1 1/3 cups caponata, recipe follows
- Special Equipment: a panini grill
- Preheat a panini grill.
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- 1 medium eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 red bell pepper, cored seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juices
- 3 tablespoons raisins
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 4 teaspoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon drained capers
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
Using a grapefruit spoon or fingers, scoop out a 1-inch wide trough along the cut sides of the baguettes. Place 2 half-slices of the provolone cheese on each bottom half of the baguettes. Spoon 1/3 cup of the caponata on top of the cheese. Place the top halves on the baguettes and grill the panini until the cheese melts, about 5 minutes.
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the celery and eggplant and cook until soft, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the red bell pepper and cook until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, raisins, and oregano to the pan. Simmer over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens, about 20 minutes. Stir in the vinegar, sugar, capers, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper. Season, to taste, with more salt and pepper, if needed.
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