Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Panini Perfection

I bought myself a new kitchen gadget -- a panini press! It's more than just a panini maker though, I went for the Cuisinart Griddler so it serves a lot of functions, including the fact that I can buy waffle inserts to make my own Belgian waffles. YUM.

In the past week I’ve tried it out three times, all with amazing success. I’ve made two grilled sandwiches and one quesadilla. What I love about this grill/panini press is that it has removable/reversible plates so you have the option of a flat surface or a rippled one -- I’ve learned that I completely prefer flat.

MEAL 1 : Proscuitto, Fig & Fontina Panini


  • A few slices of proscuitto
  • Fig spread
  • Fontina cheese
  • Salad greens
  • Good bread (I splurged and used $6 a loaf rosemary/garlic bread from a local bakery – Nashoba Brook Bakery -- that I got at Whole Foods. It made an incredible difference.)


  • Spread fig preserve on one slice of bread.
  • Add cheese, greens, and proscuitto on top of spread and top with second slice of bread. 
  • Grill on medium until cheese is melty and bread is toasty. Cut in half. Enjoy!

Photographing sandwiches is hard....


MEAL 2 : Beef & Cheddar Quesadilla


  • A few slices of roast beef
  • Sharp cheddar cheese (I recommend using really good cheese, not that phony cheese stuff. The better the cheese the more delicious this quesadilla will be, and with only a few ingredients you really want the cheese to shine.)
  • 1 medium onion
  • Tortillas


  • Slice onion and sauté until translucent. While onion is cooking slice cheese into thin strips to help it melt.
  • Layer cooked onion, cheese, beef in a tortilla and fold over so it looks like a big taco.
  • Grill on medium until cheese melts and outside of tortilla is toasty. Enjoy!
  • (Note: Watch out that cheese doesn't melt too much and run all over the panini plate… mine did.)


MEAL 3 : Roasted Pepper & Veggie Panini

Before grilling... it looks like a big piece of bruschetta.

Ingredients: The best part about this panini is that you can use basically anything you have on hand. I used:

My ingredients all chopped up

  • Roasted red peppers
  • Artichoke hearts
  • 10 kalamata olives
  • Basil & sun dried tomato goat cheese
  • Salad greens
  • Good bread (I used the same bread as Meal 1.)


  • Chop up all veggies and cheese.
  • Layer all ingredients between two slices of bread.
  • Grill on medium until cheese is melty and bread is toasty. Cut in half & enjoy!

All three of these meals were incredibly delicious and relatively healthy, too! I’m so excited to make some more. Thank goodness I no longer have to do the awkward attempt to flip sandwich/quesadilla on pan and watch all my fillings fall out routine that I used to do when making grilled sandwiches. YAY!

If you have a favorite sandwich/panini recipe I would love to hear it! Share!

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