We don't need to tell you how excited we are to plow through a whole cookbook of genius panini combinations. But suffice it to say, thanks to author Kathy Strahs' recent release, The Ultimate Panini Press Cookbook, we're firing up the press, slicing bread off the loaf and inspecting the fridge for any "extras" that might make these awesome, melty grilled sandwiches just a little better.
When I wrote about these panini on the blog, I described them as “The Best Sandwiches I Never Had.” That’s because the first time I encountered them, at Armandino Batali’s renowned Salumi restaurant in Seattle, I was five months pregnant and cured meats were off the table for me, so to speak. While I made do with a rice salad (comforted by the fact that Mr. Batali was having the same at a small table across from us), I longingly observed my husband savor his garlicky, house-made soppressata sandwich.
My grilled version of that fabulous sandwich can best be described as “pizza-like.” The flavor of the soppressata reminds me a lot of pepperoni. There are only a few simple ingredients in this sandwich, but they combine to create something extraordinarily tasty.
- 1 ciabatta loaf, cut into 4 portions, or 4 ciabatta rolls
- 1/2 cup basil pesto, purchased or homemade
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
- 4 ounces sliced sweet soppressata or Genoa salami
- Heat the panini press to medium-high heat.
- For each sandwich: Split a ciabatta portion to create top and bottom halves. Spread some pesto inside each bread half. On the bottom half layer on cheese and soppressata. Close the sandwich with the top ciabatta half.
- Grill two panini at a time, with the lid closed, until the cheese is melted and the ciabatta is toasted, 5 to 7 minutes.
Try out these panini recipes on Food Republic: