One of my favorite movies is Ratatouille, not just because I’m a foodie, because it’s just the greatest.  The title was clever, the plot was cute, and the location was perfect.  The ambiance and theme made me absolutely fall in love with this movie.  This also sparked my interest in Ratatouille…  What exactly is Ratatouille and how can this be made in a panini?

Ratatouille, which I assumed was French, actually originated from Occitania.  Occitania is a historical region in southern Europe which includes Monaco, parts of Spain and Italy, and the southern half of France.  This dish is a small representation of each these regions.  Usually, this dish is prepared by cooking each vegetable by itself and then layering it.  Over time, this dish has adapted to many different versions and methods of making.  The most modern approach to making ratatouille is by grilling it, which is how this relates to Sani Panini…


Small Eggplant


Spanish Onion



Peppers (your preference of red or green bell peppers)

Olive Oil



Assembling (salad or layers):

1. Peel the eggplant

2. Cut the eggplant and zucchini into thin circles, relatively the same size

3. Drizzle olive oil and salt over the eggplant and zuchinni

4. Grill on the panini for 2 minutes

5. While they are grilling, start cutting the peppers and onions in slices and then cut in half.  So that the length of the peppers and onions are similar to the diameter of the zucchini and eggplant.

6. In a bowl, mash the garlic and add peppers, onions, olive oil and salt

7. Take the eggplant and zucchini off of the panini and add the peppers and onions for 2 minutes

8. Cut the tomatoes into slices (doesn’t matter if you are using cherry tomatoes or regular tomatoes)

9.  Take the peppers and onions off and cook the tomatoes for 1 minute

10. You can add all the ingredients to the panini now, just to warm them up, but leave the panini open

11. Chop some basil

12. Take all ingredients off of the panini and either mix together in a bowl with the basil OR you can layer them on a plate

*If you are making this into a salad, you can cut the veggies into thick cubes rather than slices.  I also like adding a touch of balsamic, just a little!!

**This makes great for leftovers!  You can add this into your eggs in the morning, or fry an egg and place on top.  You can also eat the salad cold, room temp, or hot.  While layering the veggies is best hot!




Salad Panini

Salad? On a panini? What??  Usually the response I would expect to hear, but after reading this post I’m hoping you all would reconsider.  A salad on a panini is actually very delicious! 

Ingredients for Salad:

Romaine Lettuce


Olive OIl



Assembling the Salad:

1. Take slices of bacon and grill on panini

2. Once it’s the desired texture (firm, but not too crunchy) take it off the panini

3. Cut the romaine length-wise, right down the middle to form two large pieces

4. Lightly spread olive oil to the open, face-side-up of the lettuce

5. Sprinkle with salt and peper

6. Grill on panini until warm and when the lettuce gets those nice grill marks

7. Meanwhile, crumble the bacon

8. Take lettuce out and put on a plate

9. Drizzle dressing on top of the grilled lettuce, then add the crumbled bacon on top of that


Dressing:  Most dressings would work great with this, homemade or pre-made.  Depending on your dressing, you could add different types of cheese.  Caesar is a great option, with parmesan cheese.  Or a balasmic dressing with bleu cheese, or even just a simple bleu cheese dressing.  The opportunities are endless!!





Another small cafe..

Small cafes seem to be the latest trend for me.  My extensive research lead me to another small cafe called ‘ino Cafe.  Just like Piccolo Cafe, this cafe had 18 seats and a wine bar.  This place was filled with an array of unique and creative paninis, tramezzinis, bruschettas, and even antipasti’s.  The food, ambiance, people, all make this a place that is definitely worth going to.

I had half of a panini and a salad.  The panini itself was absolutely amazing! It was on the best bread ever, and was grilled to perfection.  Inside there was cacciatorini, goat cheese and tapenade.  Cacciatorini is a salami cured with garlic, so good!  



The salad that I got was completely out of my ordinary, but not at the same time.  It was a jerusalem artichoke salad with a parmesan vinaigrette.  At first, I was picturing jerusalem artichokes to be just like a normal artichoke but maybe chewier.  Wrong, they tasted just like a regular, but dryer potato.  Pretty good!  Both these dishes were very different than each other, they probably wouldn’t be the ideal pair.  But I, of course, always like to do something a little out of the norm.  Regardless, I enjoyed every second of it!