Friday, March 16, 2012
Our First Panini - Prosciutto, Mozzarella, Tomato and Basil
Yes, those grilled sandwiches have become QUITE popular mainly because they're so very delicious and because I don't have a panini maker at home, I didn't think I'd be able to make one.
enter my trusty George Foreman Grill!
No, this is not a plug for that wonderful kitchen appliance, but I have to tell you that I really do love that thing.
My mother-in-law gave it to me a few years ago for Christmas after I saw the girls at my old job using it and decided I had to have one.
That thing is probably one of the best appliances I have in my kitchen AND I've really only been using it to cook chicken because it cooks it in like, ready for this, 5-7 minutes!!!!
SSSOOOO wonderful when you need a healthy dinner made quickly.
Yesterday while searching for a Pasta Fagioli recipe, I had the craving for a tomato, basil, and mozzarella panini. So, skip the soup for now, we're going with the sangwitch!
I adapted this from Epicurious.com.
Prosciutto, Mozzarella, Tomato, Basil Panini - serves 4
8 slices Italian bread
1/2 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 large clove garlic, minced
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
8 very thin slices of prosciutto
12 slices of tomato
16 thin slices of red onion
10 ounces whole-milk mozzarella, sliced thin (get the good stuff!)
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, divided equally among the 4 sandwiches
Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
In a small bowl, mix together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Brush two slices of Italian bread with the dressing on the inside. On one slice with the dressing side up, place the prosciutto, red onions, and tomato.
Season the tomatoes with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
Place the mozzarella over the tomatoes and then top with the basil leaves.
Place the second piece of Italian bread, dressing side down on top of the assembled sandwich.
Repeat with remaining ingredients.
Place on grill and cook until bread is golden brown and cheese has melted.
If not using a panini maker or George Foreman grill, carefully flip sandwich using a large spatula and press down to compact.
I rate everything I make on a scale of 1-4 with 4 being the best and this Prosciutto, Mozzarella, Tomato and Basil Panini earned 3 1/2 rolling pins.
I liked everything except the prosciutto. I'm not a big fan of it to begin with and at times it was difficult to eat because it was rather stringy.
My husband loved it, but next time I'll be leaving it off of mine.
However, I loved, loved, LOVED the flavors of the onion, tomato, Mozzarella, and basil.
AND the grilled Italian bread with the dressing seeping through...
There may seem to be a lot of the dressing, but make sure you brush the pieces of bread generously with it so there isn't any left over because it is a great compliment to the sandwich!
I give you BIG baking hugs and muffins!!