I received a panini press for Christmas last year, but I never pulled it out of the cupboard. Finally one night, out of “what’s for dinner” desperation, I pulled the press out and made grilled cheese sandwiches. It was a simple recipe with a little cheese, a little onion, and grilled bread. Delicious!
That night I began a panini recipe hunt. Williams-Sonoma’s website is a great resource for panini recipes. I adapted a couple of their recipes. My family enjoyed the salami, roasted red pepper and provolone panini for dinner. I served the salami panini and a prosciutto, apple and Gruyere panini with a big spinach salad and a bottle of Chardonnay to some girl friends for dinner. And, soup and panini sandwiches make a satisfying winter dinner.
Salami, Roasted Red Pepper and Provolone Panini
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 slices sourdough or ciabatta bread, each 1/2 inch thick
1 ounce thinly sliced Italian hard salami
1 ounce sliced provolone cheese
1/4 cup sliced roasted red bell peppers
1 tablespoon grainy mustard
Preheat an electric panini press or preheat a grill pan. Brush one side of each bread slice lightly with the olive oil. Lay a bread slice, oiled side down, and arrange the salami and cheese on the bread. Add the bell peppers and top with the other bread slice, oiled side up.
Place the sandwich on the preheated panini maker or place on a grill pan (if using a grill pan, flip once) and cook until the sandwich golden and crispy and the filling is hot. Cut in half, and serve immediately. Serves 1.
Prosciutto, Apple and Gruyere Panini
2 slices country-style bread
Extra-virgin olive oil for brushing
2 slices Gruyere cheese
2 slices prosciutto
1/4 Granny Smith apple, cored and thinly sliced
Preheat an electric panini maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. Brush one side of each bread slice with olive oil. Arrange the cheese, prosciutto and apple slices on one bread slice. Top with the other bread slice, oiled side up.