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Grilled Radicchio, Fennel, and Goat Cheese Panini

Serves 4 / Sweet, sour, salty, and bitter come together gloriously in this delicious treat. If you don't own a panini press, don't worry — you can achieve excellent results with a stovetop grill, although you will need to flip the sandwiches to grill both sides. In a pinch, you can even prepare panini in a pan just as you would plain old grilled cheese, but there will be nothing “plain” or “old” about it! Prep tip: Roasted peppers from a jar save time and work perfectly.

1 small head radicchio (about 5 ounces)
1 small fennel bulb (about 2 ounces)
1½ tablespoons olive oil, divided
⅛ teaspoon sea salt
⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 roasted red bell peppers, cut into ½-inch strips
1 round loaf focaccia bread (16 ounces), sliced horizontally and cut into fourths
5-6 ounces soft goat cheese A handful of fresh basil leaves (optional)

  1. Halve radicchio and fennel lengthwise and carve out the cores slightly (it's important to leave enough core to keep sections intact). Cut each fennel piece into two or three thinner sections, taking care to keep a section of the core in each slice.

  2. Preheat a stovetop grill until very hot. Brush rad-icchio and fennel slices with ½ tablespoon oil; season with salt and pepper. Place slices on grill and cook about 2 minutes on each side. Remove and slice crosswise into thin strips (discard cores). Toss with roasted-pepper strips.

  3. Preheat panini press or other pan. Lightly brush bread slices on the outside with remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Lay two slices on a work surface, dry side up. Spread one-fourth of the goat cheese on the slices, then top with one-fourth of the vegetable mixture. Top with fresh basil, if using. Close up sandwich and press down gently. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Place in panini press or pan and grill. Serve at once.

PER SERVING: 462 cal, 42% fat cal, 22g fat, 8g sat fat, 28mg chol, 18g protein, 50g carb, 4g fiber, 743mg sodium

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