Friday, May 16, 2008

Crusty bread and gooey cheese... heaven!

Was it as beautiful outside today for you as it was here? Temperatures reaching to just about 80 degrees with a perfect light breeze - Spike spent most of his time lounging around the grass, soaking up the rays!

If we have sandwiches, we tend to have them at lunch, rather than at dinner time - however, give me a hot panini anytime and I'm a happy camper! Such was the case tonight with this Italian Panini with Prosciutto and Fresh Mozzarella I made.

I had to stop by the market this morning as I needed to pick up some plum tomatoes and while I was out, I also also nabbed a freshly baked loaf of French bread to use for this sandwich tonight. If you fancy a chewy focaccia or ciabatta for bread, feel free to use whichever you prefer. The original recipe called for hollowing out the "meat" of the bread on both sides of the loaf... I'm sure that would be a more classic way to prepare this, but carb lovers that we are, we skipped this step and the sandwich didn't seem to suffer in our opinion.

The layering begins by spreading a very thin layer of creamy mayonnaise on each half of the loaf. On top of the bottom half, shredded fresh mozzarella and threads of sweet basil are placed on top. Fresh mozzarella can be somewhat difficult to work with - sticky and soft. To make it a little easier to shred, toss the portion you want to do into the freezer for 10 or 15 minutes to firm up. Topping the cheese are paper thin slices of salty prosciutto and deep red rounds of plum tomatoes for a juicy burst. We used a The Griddler to press these, but you can get the same effect by using a grill pan and weighing the sandwiches down with a heavy skillet. Our sandwiches had an ultra-crisp crust with a moist interior, oozing with the mild mozzarella. One word can simply define our thoughts... Delicious!


  1. Oh i LOVE sandwiches like that. I haven't tried shredding the fresh mozzarella... ill have to try that freezer trick. One thing I do love is mixing a little pesto into the mayonnaise for a delicious pesto mayo. Mmmm!

  2. Nice picture of Spike!

  3. How's Spike doing?


  4. Just wanted to let you know that because of all your posts about the magic Griddler, we registered for one as a wedding gift... no one has bought it yet, but it's something we intend to purchase even if no one gets it for us. You just make it seem so useful and versatile and glamorous ;)

  5. It was a gorgeous day here in the Twin Cities on Friday, wasn't it?! Perfect! Finally...spring has arrived! Hopefully it will STAY!


  6. Lauren - Pesto, eh? That sounds mighty fine to me!

    Anon - Thanks!

    Quinn - Not well, but we are taking it one day at a time.

    Lauren - As you know, we love it! Well worth the money.

    Courtney - Seriously!

  7. Looks fantastic - I'll have to give that panini recipe a try.