Panini Sandwich Recipe

A "Panini sandwich" literally means "Sandwich sandwich"... Panini is the Italian word for sandwich and is interpreted, "little breads"... Either way these sandwiches truly are scrumptious!

Sandwich Variations:

Prosciutto, Mozzarella, and Basil Panini: Cut four pieces of ciabatta bread in half and toast lightly. Drizzle the bottom halves with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Layer the bottom halves with thinly sliced prosciutto, thinly sliced mozzarella cheese, and  fresh basil. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste. Cover the sandwiches with the top bread halves. Serve immediately.

Grilled Eggplant and Roasted Red Pepper Panini: Mix together 6 fresh basil leaves, chopped; 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar; 1 to 3 cloves of garlic, finely minced; 2 red bell peppers, roasted, and cut into thick strips. Cut crosswise and broil eggplant 4 inches from the heat just until tender, about 4 minutes, each side. Split four 4-inch pieces of focaccia bread in half and add a layer of chopped olives. Next add a layer of mozzarella cheese, and a thick slice of tomato to each sandwich. Add the prepared eggplant, and red peppers. Cover the sandwiches with the top bread halves. Press together gently and serve.

Sandwich Tips:

  • Leave crusts on all but dainty tea sandwiches; they help keep sandwiches fresh.

  • Assemble components, then put sandwiches together just before serving, particularly important if ingredients are drippy.

  • Soften butter to room temperature so it spreads more easily.

  • If filling is creamy, butter 1 slice of bread only.

  • Be generous - but not lavish - with butter or mayonnaise; 1 teaspoon per slice is ample.

  • Spread butter or mayonnaise and sandwich fillings to the edge of the bread.

  • Use several thin slices of meat or cheese rather then a single thick one.

  • Make sure salad-type fillings are creamy, not soupy.

  • Make toasted sandwiches at the very last minute and do not stack toast - it will become soggy.