Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Twisted Mediterranean Panini

Hello, Birdies! As the temperatures drop, my need for a warm, filling sandwich rises.  In an attempt to satisfy this craving, I have created what I call a Twisted Mediterranean Panini. This sandwich starts with a simple cibatta bun and basil mayo. I make basil mayo one of two ways. Version number one is where I place my mayo of choice in a food processor with fresh basil leaves and pulse it till well blended. If you let it sit for a few minutes, more of the intoxicating basil fragrance is released and it makes you wonder why you ever ate mayonnaise any other way. Version number two holds a similar concept but is what I would call the "lazier version." I won't judge you if you make it this way because well...I definitely have. No shame in my game. Simply take your mayo, squeeze some basil paste in then stir till combined. I like this version because basil-in-a-tube tends to last a long time. Either way you make this condiment, it is sure to please and kick any sandwich up a notch.



From there the layering of ingredients begins. Although this sandwich packs a serious punch, it is not a serious sandwich. No measurements here. It is like the cool kid of the sandwich world because it just kind of goes with the flow. It can be casual but can also rock someone's socks off if the occasion calls to impress.




This panini takes cues from the Mediterranean with olives and pepperoncini's but then throws you for a loop with the creaminess that the soft muenster cheese brings. Combine that smooth, velvety goodness with the crunch of the cibatta roll and your taste buds will thank you! Although this sammy is dressed to impress, it doesn't take more than just a few minutes to prepare.

Ingredients:

Cibatta Roll
Mayonnaise
Basil
Lettuce
Tomato
Muenster Cheese
Turkey or Deli Meat of Choice (or go meatless)
Bell Peppers
Red Onion
Kalamata Olives
Pepperoncinis

1. Warm up your panini press or countertop grill. No need to grease.
2. Slice your cibatta roll and spread your basil mayo on both sides.
3. Layer in the remaining ingredients. With the peppers and onions, they can either go in raw OR you can soften them up in a skillet beforehand.
4. Place the sandwich in the press or grill and allow it cook till the bread is toasted and the cheese is melted. Let the panini rest for a few minutes. Doing this allows all of the flavors to really meld together and, I think, make the sandwich even better.



I really appreciate recipes that I can prepare year round and this one definitely is versatile enough to be served with a salad in the warmer months or with a warm soup in the cooler months.

Hopefully you give this a try and if you do, take a pic and share with me on Twitter or Instagram!

What is your favorite sandwich to make?

Be sure to check out my YouTube channel for a play by play on how I assemble the Twisted Mediterranean Panini.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!

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