Friday, May 13, 2005

Italian Panini with Prosciutto and Fresh Mozzarella

Italian Panini with Prosciutto and Fresh Mozzarella (Adapted from CL)

12 ounce loaf French bread, cut in half horizontally
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
6 ounces shredded fresh mozzarella cheese, divided
3 ounces very thin slices prosciutto
2 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced

Place 2 tablespoons mayonnaise on each half of bread and use a spatula to smooth it over. Season with salt and fresh ground black pepper. Scatter basil and 3/4 cup cheese on the bottom half of the loaf. Evenly top with the prosciutto, tomato slices and remaining 3/4 cup cheese. Place the other loaf half on top and cut the filled loaf crosswise into 4 equal pieces.

Preheat a panini press or grill pan over medium heat. If you are using a grill pan, lightly coat it with olive oil or cooking spray. If using a press, add sandwiches and cook until the desired degree of doneness - ours took about 5 minutes or so. If using a grill pan, add the sandwiches and place a heavy skillet on top to weigh them down - cook each side until the bread is toasted, about 3 to 5 minutes per side.

Makes 4 sandwiches.

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