I made this panini for lunch recently. Basically, a panini is just a glorified grilled cheese sandwich filled with any combination of cheeses, meats, and/or vegetables…crunchy on the outside, oozing with melted cheese on the inside. Yumm! Paninis are usually made with a panini press (electric or stove-top) but I say you can still make these delicious sandwiches without the fancy cookware just as you would a regular grilled cheese. Just cook the sandwich in a pan on both sides until golden.
I love the combination of flavors in this particular sandwich: creamy, nutty-flavored fontina with peppery salami and roasted red peppers. DELICIOUS! I used pre-sliced sourdough bread because thicker sliced artisan bread can rip your mouth to shreds if served on a grilled sandwich. I also used regular olive oil instead of making the rosemary oil. I’m sure it’s good but I didn’t take the time to make it (too hungry). I also didn’t measure out the ingredients (1 ounce of this or that). Instead, I just put the amount on each sandwich that looked right to me — enough cheese to cover the bread, a few slices of salami, 3-4 strips of red pepper, a drizzle of olive oil here and there, some freshly ground pepper, etc. If you can’t find fontina, I think provolone cheese would be an acceptable substitute. Serve with mixed greens and you’ve got an easy meal in minutes.
Salami, Fontina and Roasted Bell Pepper Panini
-recipe from Williams-Sonoma Kitchen
Makes 1 sandwich.
There are countless combinations of delicious fillings for panini. For a vegetarian version, try grilled eggplant, fresh mozzarella cheese and arugula.
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Leaves of 1 rosemary sprig
2 slices sourdough bread, each 1/2 inch thick
1 oz. thinly sliced Tuscan salami
1 oz. sliced fontina cheese
1/4 cup sliced roasted red bell peppers
In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the rosemary and fry until just fragrant, about 20 seconds. Remove from the heat and let cool.
Preheat an electric panini maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Brush one side of each bread slice lightly with the rosemary 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 and cook according to the manufacturer’s instructions until the sandwich is hot throughout, golden and crispy.
Transfer the sandwich to a cutting board and cut in half. Serve immediately.
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