A month or so ago we bought a Breville panini press. We got a great deal on it at the Williams and Sonoma outlet so we just had to go for it... even though we were thinking in the back of our minds it might be one of those purchases that we never really end up using. Its the exact opposite though.... I can't believe how delicious and wonderful it is to make paninis at home and how often I use it. There are so many other uses for it besides making sandwiches, like grilling chicken and veggies (which is fantastic on a hot day when you don't want to start up the grill for just a few things). Do I sound like an infomercial or what?
Tonight I made one with grilled eggplant and peppers, sun-dried tomato pesto, basil pesto, tomatoes, and halloumi cheese (which is a traditional cheese from Cyprus). It was delicious!
You can make an endless variety of paninis though. There are many ideas on the web. I just discovered a great site here.
This Peach Caprese Panini sounds delicious...
Peach Caprese Panini
Makes 2 panini
1/2 loaf Italian bread (e.g., filone, ciabatta)
2 slices prosciutto
1 ripe peach, pitted and sliced
4 oz. fresh mozzarella, sliced
4-6 fresh basil leaves
Olive oil for brushing
Preheat the panini grill to medium-high heat.
Split the bread crosswise into two pieces (I typically make them about 3″ wide). Halve the pieces lengthwise so you have tops and bottoms.
For each sandwich: Lay a slice of prosciutto onto the bottom half of bread. Top with peach slices, fresh mozzarella and basil leaves. Close the sandwich with the other half of bread. Brush a little olive oil on top, if desired.
Grill for 4 to 5 minutes until the cheese is melted and the bread is toasted. Cut in half, serve immediately and enjoy!
Anyway, I highly recommend investing in a good panini press. It will be well worth it. And if you do have one, what are your favorite recipes or uses for it? I always love hearing new ideas.