I guess it should be no surprise that Marina asked sooooo verrry nicely for another Panini today! OK have to admit, it’s also no surprise that I immediately said yes and went about making one of my Husband’s favorite’s. Hey, that way I could make two people hap hap happy!!!
It’s amazing how well the four strong flavors of the prosciutto, mozzarella, pesto and tomatoes marry together! It’s like they were long lost friends who found themselves together after a long period of time, but are able to take up right where they left off.
I usually have pesto in the freezer; I make a huge batch then freeze small amounts in plastic bags so it is on hand. No problem to use your favorite store bought version; it certainly saves time! I also had chopped tomatoes with fresh basil and garlic marinating in olive oil on hand. Just substitute with sliced tomatoes. Panini are imminently flexible; that’s one of the things I love about them.
Speaking of flexible, your bread choice can be a variable as your fillings. My favorite is thick sliced country bread or the light airy baguettes I use to buy at Super U in France. I like thick sliced bread because it seems to toast better and the filling warm faster. Sometimes a thick crust will get too brown before the fillings are ready; just something to look out for. Today I had a heavier mini loaf that held the fillings to perfection, cooked just right and was actually long enough to cut three small Panini; one piece each for Marina, her friend Jacob and my husband Filippo.
Ingredients: for 2-3 people
Four slices thick country bread or 1 small baguette
4-6 slices prosciutto
4-6 slices fresh mozzarella
¼ cup pesto
1 chopped tomato
Spread pesto on both slices of bread.
Layer on the mozzarella, tomatoes and prosciutto.
Spray or paint the outside of each slice of bread with olive oil.
Grill over medium high heat until bread is toasted and cheese begins to melt.
Flip and toast the other side.
Slice and serve warm or room temperature if you are in the mood for a picnic!