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Panini

02 Apr

I am ambivalent when it comes to sandwiches – will eat them, if I can’t find any other healthy options but they are not my favorite dish for sure. However, when it comes to Panini, it is totally different – I absolutely adore these hot sandwiches. Traditionally, Panini is prepared with Italian bread like Ciabatta or Focaccia. I prefer it with Focaccia as it is softer and more moist than the Ciabatta. However, there is no hard and fast rule about the bread and it can be prepared using any bread that you like, just that it has to be able to hold the fillings and has to be flat, so that it can be grilled evenly. I have used different kinds of bread like Focaccia or whole-wheat or multi-grain bread, with equally tasty and satisfying results.

To prepare these sandwiches, I first grill the veggies, like zucchini, summer or yellow squash, onions etc. Cut them into thin slices (vertical slices for long-elongated veggies like zucchini and horizontal for round-ones like onion). Coat them well with a tsp of olive oil, salt, pepper and optionally, Italian seasoning. Heat the grill-pan (I use something similar to this and grill the veggies on the pan, atleast 4 mins on each side and do not move the veggies while grilling. In the meanwhile, roast the bell-peppers. If you have a gas-stove, place the bell-pepper directly on the fire and turn it periodically so it is completely charred on all sides. Immediately drop this into a brown paper bag and close the mouth of the bag. Let it sit for about 5 mins and then remove the charred skin – the steam that develops in the pepper will loosen the skin and you will be able to peel the skin off the pepper easily. Cut this into smaller pieces that you can use in your sandwich. If you think this is too much work, just buy the bottled roasted bell-peppers that is available in the supermarket Now you have all the veggies ready and just have to assemble the sandwich.

Grilled sandwich

Brush olive oil on the outer-side of the bread slice (this is optional and can be skipped). You can use pesto (regular or sun-dried tomato) or tapenade as a spread for the bread. Stack the roasted veggies one on top of the other over the bread. You can add a slice of fresh-tomato and a handful of spinach (or salad greens), a slice of your preferred cheese (personally I like mozarella). Place the second slice (optionally brushed with olive oil) on top of stacked-veggies and give it a gentle but firm push. Keep this on the grill-pan and place the grill-press over this. If you don’t have a grill-press, just place a really heavy cooking-utensil on top like an iron pan (dosai kal) or wok (vanali or kadai). Let it cook for about 5 mins on each side.

More Panini recipes:
Tasty Panini Sandwich Recipe Ideas
Panini @ Epicurious
Easy Panini Recipe

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16 Comments

Posted by on April 2, 2008 in Cooking, Italian

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

16 responses to “Panini

  1. Laksh

    April 2, 2008 at 6:22 AM

    Neat! This recipe is a keeper. Definitely on my do-it-asap list πŸ™‚

    Looks lovely btw.

    Try it out and let me know how it turns out! -A-kay

     
  2. TheCooker

    April 2, 2008 at 6:23 AM

    Whoa, can’t keep up with you.

    I am on a roll here πŸ™‚ -A-kay

     
  3. Just someone

    April 2, 2008 at 9:29 AM

    Came over from Laksh’s musings – your posts are amazing – makes me go ‘slurp’; πŸ™‚

    Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see you again. -A-kay

     
  4. Madhuram

    April 2, 2008 at 9:49 AM

    Hey I’m running out of words here. How come you are doing something new everyday. Good Job.

    Thanks – I am going to try and make a post everyday this week. Lets see how that goes πŸ™‚ -A-kay

     
  5. Cham

    April 2, 2008 at 10:39 AM

    They look awesome ur panini πŸ™‚

     
  6. sreelu

    April 2, 2008 at 10:55 AM

    A-kay, Looks great. I love Panni’s too

     
  7. ranji

    April 2, 2008 at 12:47 PM

    i love panini’s…planning to buy a panini press…urs is delicious!!!

    Getting a panini press is a good idea actually. Let me know how yours turn out! -A-kay

     
  8. Dee

    April 2, 2008 at 2:33 PM

    Same here, I can only tolerate paninis. I should give ur recipe a try!! the grilled eggplant one that I made a few months ago was a total flop!!

    I hate eggplant – dunno how come people eat it πŸ˜›

     
  9. revathi

    April 2, 2008 at 2:57 PM

    Oh AK Thank you veryyyy much for the award.. Just caught up with all the latest posts on ur blog.. You have been cooking a lot.

    Loved ur pom ras – such a cool name and reading it reminded me of TC’s drink – The apple really adds a crunch.

    Yup – couldn’t have enough of TC’s drink, hence made it again πŸ™‚ -A-kay

     
  10. Jayashree

    April 2, 2008 at 3:03 PM

    I love panini, too….i like it best when it is made by someone other than me :-))

    Don’t we all do? πŸ™‚ -A-kay

     
  11. m's mom

    April 2, 2008 at 9:27 PM

    Akay

    Have u by any chance changed ur profession πŸ˜‰
    This toooooooo much ma;Anyway i’m really happy for u;
    U better add some phoenetic details of the names of the new dishes u r posting
    i’m remembered about the Sanskrit grammarian Paannini!!!!!!!Would he have ever dreamt abt the dish with which he shares his name?
    Hats off to K agn for his camera work

    Thanks mami. You are right – if you go to wikipedia and search for panini, you will get both the sandwich and Sanskrit grammarian – strange coincidence πŸ™‚ Will pass on your compliments to K. -A-kay

     
  12. Lakshmi

    April 2, 2008 at 10:57 PM

    A-kay,

    This receipe is the @= . The sandwich looks absolutely gorgeous. Defn going to give this a shot once I get my grill pan. Harish and I love grilled sandwiches and often have it after toasting bread on the dosai kallu.

    Thanks for putting up the smilies also, but I don’t see head shaking! πŸ˜‰

    As a token of appreciation for the sandwich receipe and the smilies, there you go – :flower:

    laks

    Thanks Laks. Let me know how it goes with the grill-pan. -A-kay

     
  13. Roop Rai

    April 3, 2008 at 1:43 AM

    Gotta admire your creativity!! πŸ™‚ Have added you on blogroll on me personal blog too as my ‘favorite food blog’. :)) Thanks for such wonderful pictures. I am glad I came here through Laksh’s page. Thanks laksh!! πŸ™‚

    Glad to see you here and I have been to your blog (through Laksh again). Really admire the cause of unchaahi. -A-kay

     
  14. DK

    April 3, 2008 at 10:16 AM

    Panni’s are so versatile and quick! This one has been my ‘I am lazy to make anything else’ excuse for so many times πŸ™‚

    Totally hear you on that. Not just quick and easy, but also delicious – what more can you ask for? -A-kay

     
  15. Anu

    April 4, 2008 at 5:50 AM

    A-kay,

    Thanks for this and the other panini recipes…this will be handy for the lunch days when I don’t feel like taking rice or other Indian food.

     
  16. UL

    April 5, 2008 at 1:21 PM

    my real encounter with panini was on the streets of France along with crΓͺpes, even though its Italian…for the same reason I also love it for breakfast with bananas and nutella fillings…and oh strawberries…, your post brought memories..

    Nutella – now we are talking. I love grilled sandwiches with nutella and strawberries – not so much of a banana fan. -A-kay

     

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