Thursday, March 21, 2013

Panini pressing

When dinnertime is pressing and I need to whip something up quickly, this is my go-to. 
This panini press is arguably one of my most-used kitchenware purchases of all time (next to the blender I use to make countless cherry-chia smoothies and the food processor I use for banana froyo).
I think the key to good panini is an awesome and flavorful spread. Since I don't do the mayo thing, I look for non-creamy alternatives. I recently bought this intriguing sandwich spread from Trader Joe's (knowing I'd get it all to myself since Justin snubs eggplant).
I use this tarragon dijon mustard spread for him (another Olive & Thyme purchase).
My favorite panini bread is the artisan bread from Trader Joe's. I buy big bags of these rolls, slice them in half, and freeze them to preserve freshness. When I need to use one, I just take it out of the freezer for an hour or so and it defrosts (you could nuke it if you're in a hurry).
I actually pull out a good portion of the bread's insides to make a nice little cave for my panini fillings. I also prefer a more even bread-to-spread/meat/veggie ratio, so tearing out some of the bread even things out and makes the panini more flavorful overall. And I can always save the breadcrumbs for meatballs and such!
Look at that chicken/pepper/feta/mustard combo so nicely nestled in the little bread holes :)
Now it all gets pressed together (I usually leave it in for 5 minutes or longer, depending on how impatient I am feeling).
And the end result is delicious. The eggplant spread was soooo good. I kept telling Justin that he was really missing out, but he seemed to be just fine with his mustard. 


  1. Oh wow! My stomach grumbled :) Ben's not a big fan of rolls... maybe I will try to do these as wraps!! Did you just use leftover chicken?

    1. No rolls? That's crazy talk! How did we end up with such picky men? No rolls and no eggplant.. Yes I think panini are a great way to use up extra meat and veggies! Leftovers taste great sandwiched between good bread with good spread!