Wednesday, April 22, 2009

White Panini with Arugula

The weather here has been hot for the last few days. We have had four days of 90° plus temperatures, so it seems like we went straight from winter to summer skipping spring entirely. I’m not complaining, but with these temperatures, I haven’t felt like eating, much less cooking. Luckily, I’ve had leftovers to feed my family, but the weather got me thinking about the hot days of summer. I love summer and all the grilling that comes with it, but with all the fun summer activities, sometimes you need to put something on the table quickly. I have a delicious sandwich that can be on the table in minutes.
White Panini with Arugula is a riff on Ina Garden’s White Pizza with Arugula, but the sandwich is easier. I love the mixture of cheeses with the crisp arugula in the middle. If you are interested in more sandwich recipes, Pithy and Cleaver has devoted a whole month to grilled sandwiches.

White Panini with Arugula
1 Loaf Ciabatta bread, sliced into 12 slices
1/2 cup olive oil
2 cloves of garlic smashed
5 sprigs of fresh thyme

6 slices Fontina cheese
6 slices of mozzarella cheese
6 ounces Feta cheese

8 ounces baby arugula
¼ cup good olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Place the ½ cup of olive oil in a small saucepan, and add the garlic, thyme and bring to a simmer and let steep for 10 minutes. Make sure the garlic doesn’t burn. Let cool slightly.

Brush prepared oil on one side of each slice of Ciabatta bread. Place the Fontina on 6 slices of bread, and place the mozzarella and Feta on the other 6 slices. Place the bread oil side down on a Panini press, and set the lid of the press above the cheese, but not touching the cheese. You can also place the bread in the broiler to melt the cheese.

Meanwhile, whisk together the ¼ cup of olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. Toss the arugula with the dressing and set aside.

Once the cheese is melted and browned, remove the bread from the Panini press or oven. Place the arugula on the slice bread with the Mozzarella and Feta cheese, and place the slice of bread with the Fontina on top of the arugula. Makes 6 sandwiches.

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