Pressed for time? Press a sandwich.
A simple panini is a great time-saver during the busy holiday season. This classic version of the Italian sandwich appeals to lots of tastes – including kids’. Prep is minimal, consisting simply of slicing bread and tomatoes, and cutting cheese slices in half. Everything else – dressing, deli meat, peppers – is already prepared. And since actual cooking time is only 3-4 minutes you can move sandwiches from grill to table in no time.
One word of caution: this recipe calls for coating the outsides of the bread with one tablespoon of olive oil, which I followed to the letter when making my first sandwich. Much to my horror (and the dog’s delight), the slippery sandwich flew out of the press as I attempted to grill it, landing on the kitchen floor. I would suggest lightly brushing a small amount of oil on the bread – one tablespoon might be too much, depending on the bread.
Classic Italian Panini
Adapted from food.com
1 (12-inch) hoagie roll (or bread of your choice; ciabatta or focaccia work well)
1 tablespoon olive oil (or less, depending on bread)
2 ounces Italian dressing
2 slices provolone cheese
4 slices deli ham
8 slices genoa salami
8-12 slices pepperoni
4 tomato slices
Banana pepper rings
Slice bread open to create top and bottom halves. Brush outsides of halves with olive oil. Brush insides of halves (both sides) with Italian dressing. Cut cheese slices in half; layer on bottom slice of bread. Add remaining ingredients in order listed (use banana peppers to taste). Top with remaining bread slice and cut sandwich in half. Grill according to panini press directions.