Every since I went to Italy for a late honeymoon, I have loved a good panini (along with gnocchi, lemon chocolate and, of course, gelato). Although we were on a tour, my husband and I tried to stay off the beaten path sometimes. One time, we stumbled into this little shop on the Island of Capri. Inside, we had doughnuts with lemon powdered sugar and paninis. I had a mozzarella and tomato version. It was simple but so good. After returning from Italy, I tried to recreate some of the recipes. Although I have never been able to find gelato that holds a candle to Italy’s, I have come up with some delicious panini recipes.
A Panini Press and Some Darn Good Bread
Having a panini press makes it so much easier to make sandwiches with a delicious crust. You can use a regular pan, foil and a another pan on top to weight it down. However, you won’t get those beautiful grill marks. Good bread is also essential. I like to use ciabatta or a baguette. Just make sure the bread is fresh and not stale.
Grilled Zucchini, Basil, Tomato and Mozzarella Panini
For this sandwich, I took a zucchini and cut it into long thin strips. Then, I drizzled it with a little olive oil and salt and pepper. I put it on my panini grill and let it cook for about five minutes. I removed the zucchini and placed it on some ciabatta bread (sliced in half). Then I put down a mozzarella slice. On top of that, I put a tomato slice, a few basil leaves and more mozzarella. I put it in the press, closed the top and let it cook for about five minutes. When the bread was slightly brown and the cheese was melted, I knew my sandwich was finished.
Peanut Butter S’mores Panini
A panini isn’t just for lunch. They can also be used to make a delicious dessert. Spread some peanut butter on your bread. Then top with a piece of chocolate and a big marshmallow. Allow your panini to cook until the marshmallow and chocolate have melted. You can also use a chocolate hazelnut butter in place of the chocolate.
Chicken, Jack and Rosemary Panini
Take two tablespoons of olive olive and sprinkle in a teaspoon of dried (or fresh) rosemary. Drizzle the olive oil mixture on your bread and then cover with a few slices of oven roasted chicken (cold cuts) or pieces of chicken. Add a slice of monterey jack cheese or cheddar and put into your press.
BBQ Chicken and Fried Onions Panini
This one is so good. First, you should take any bbq chicken and shred into pieces. I like to use rotisserie chicken and put some barbecue sauce on top. You can also use barbecue chicken from the grill. Next, put some french fried onions and avocado on top. Heat until bread has light brown grill marks.
These panini recipes are quick and easy.
More from Melissa:
Kid-Friendly Meals for Meatless Mondays
5 Ways to Boost the Nutritional Value of Desserts
What’s for Dinner? Easy “Almost-Homemade” Recipes Using Rotisserie Chicken