Friday, June 4, 2010

Tomato, Mozzarella, & Pesto Paninis

Any combination of basil, mozzarella, and tomato is sure to be a winner in my book, so I'm completely kicking myself for not trying these paninis sooner.  I've owned The Barefoot Contessa at Home for over 3 years now, and I always drool over this recipe, but have never gotten around to making it.  I think the reason being is that I don't own a panini press, and I really wanted those cute little lines (yes, I'm that anal).  Well a few weeks ago, I had a stroke of genius, and decided to weight them down on my grill (I do realize others have thought of this before me, but I felt pretty inventive).  It worked like a charm, and we enjoyed some of the best sandwiches we've had in a long time. So simple, so delicious.

Tomato, Mozzarella, & Pesto Paninis
adapted from Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa at Home
makes 6 sandwiches
  • 2 large ripe beefsteak tomatoes
  • 1 (16-ounce) ball fresh mozzarella
  • 12 slices bakery white bread, sliced 1/2-inch thick
  • about 1 cup pesto
  • kosher salt
  • balsamic vinegar
  • olive oil
Preheat grill.

Meanwhile, core the tomatoes and slice the tomatoes and mozzarella 1/4-inch thick.

Spread the bread slices out on a work surface.  Pour olive oil into a small bowl, and using a pastry brush, brush each bread slice with the oil.  Flip the slices over, and spread each slice evenly with pesto.  On half the bread, place a layer of mozzarella (about 2 slices per sandwich), followed by a layer of tomato.  Sprinkle the tomatoes with kosher salt and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.

Oil the grates of the grill, and working 3 sandwiches at a time, lay all the bread slices on the grill, and close the cover.  After 2-3 minutes, you should have grill marks, make sandwiches, by laying the pesto-only slices on top.  Weight the sandwiches down with either bricks wrapped well in foil, or heavy, oven-safe skillets.  Alternatively, you could lay a baking sheet on top and weight that down with bricks.

Grill an additional 1-3 minutes, or until the mozarella starts to ooze.  Repeat with remaining sandwiches.  Cut each sandwich in half, and serve warm.


Joanne said...

You are very crafty :P I usually just George Foreman my paninis and hope for the best. This is one of my favorite combinations for a panini!

oneordinaryday said...

Oh, that's a combo that's always a huge hit in my book too. This sounds like the perfect sandwich.

Michelle said...

I use my George Forman for paninis too. But now I think I'll try them outside on the grill.

Audrey said...

I just wanted to say that I've been enjoying your blog! You've got some great recipes (some of them are things I've been meaning to try for a while!)

Josie said...

Thank you, Audrey!! :-)

test it comm said...

That is a seriously nice looking sandwich!

Miryam said...

looks very refreshing. Love pesto so will get some fresh bread tomorrow and try it soon. They do not seem to take long to make at all either. I will just get whole wheat bread though, thanks for the idea :-)

Stephanie Quilao said...

Oh my that looks heavenly! I can't have mozzarella because of milk allergy but I could do goat cheese. Thanks for inspiring tomorrow's lunch :)

ashley said...

these look fabulous!

real wood bed said...

This looks so delicious! I can have this everyday and I will never get tired of it.

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