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What do you cook in your panini?

We use our pannini often and I would like some variety in the snadwiches that we make. Prefer some that are not loaded with cheese and slathered in butter.

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  1. Butter, yes, gruyere, ham (I like the slivered kind) and maybe a hint of Dijon. A bit of tomato and/or onion. Very simple and wonderful. (I put the gruyere both under and on top of the ham, to glue it all together.)

    1. I have a couple favorites but quality bread is always the most important- soft italian bread is usually my favorite.

      - chicken/fresh fig/grey poupon/hot sauce
      - eggplant/feta/sweet potato
      - cream cheese/salmon/hot sauce

      1. The classic: Genoa salame, prosciutto, thinly sliced tomato, sharp provolone, sometimes thinly sliced Bermuda or other onion, Scali bread slathered with roasted garlic aioli and/or EVOO.

        1. We do them with all sorts of things. Last night it was smoked turkey, black forest ham with muenster and pepperjack cheeses.

          I do a roast beef, blue cheese & grilled onion with arugula that's great too.

          My fave though, is the very simple prosciutto, fresh mozzerella, greens and maybe a little olive tapenade sometimes.

          Oh, and nutella on good cibatta...lovely.

          1. Leftover meats: Chicken, carnitas, roast, whatever. Along with whatever cheese I feel like using: blue, swiss, camembert... Arugula is my favorite green.

            Or - smoked salmon, prosciutto, the usual Italian deli meats.

            My panini grill is non-stick, so I just use a swab of olive oil instead of butter, more for flavor than anything else.

            1. Cheese(whatever I have on hand), bacon and avocado sprinkled with a little sea salt. Yum.

              Pear, brie and arugula is good, too...drizzled with honey

              1. Leftover grilled eggplant, zucchini, vidalias, fresh basil and fontina.
                Prosciutto, figs, basil, buffalo mozzarella.
                Chicken, roasted red peppers, baby spinach, smoked mozzarella.
                Goat cheese, arugula and prosciutto.
                Tomato, basil, mozzarella.
                Asparagus frittata and cheese.
                Prosciutto cotto or good quality ham, gruyere and dijon.
                Sauteed broccoli rabe and provolone.
                Hot calabrese flat Salami, grilled artichokes, homemade pickled peppers (or bought), cheese of choice.
                Leftover thinly sliced steak, grilled radicchio and gorgonzola.
                Nutella and bananas.

                2 Replies
                1. re: itryalot

                  I second tomato, basil, fresh mozzarella, with a bit of good olive oil. A caprese in a sandwich! and fabulous this time of year with the good tomatoes.

                  1. re: itryalot

                    I despise nutella, but I had a panini with a heartier-type bread sandwiching a thick layer of nutella and found it to be a revelation.

                  2. Baked butternut squash slices, a little gruyere, carmelized onions, sage

                    Veggie tapenade (TJ's jarred version), eggplant slices, sundried tomatoes, wild mushroom slices (portabellos or shiitakes), onions, garlic, arugula, basil

                    Turkey, sweet potato slices, cranberry sauce (crushed), sage



                    4 Replies
                    1. re: Emme

                      turkey sweet potato and cranberry sauce sounds great. Im a little ashamed I didnt think of that one myself.

                      1. re: yankeefan

                        An offshoot of my post Turkey day concoction:

                        Layer of white/sourdough bread spread with butter and a little gravy
                        One layer of turkey
                        layer of mashed potatoes
                        Piece of bread soaked in gravy
                        layer of turkey
                        cranberry sauce
                        last slice of bread with a little butter and gravy

                        1. re: Emme

                          I made one tonight with raisin bread and turkey, sweet potatoes, homemade cranberry sauce and gravy.


                          1. re: yankeefan

                            no sage? definitely a must, unique twist for next time... glad you enjoyed it though!!! only 4 months to thanksgiving, right?

                    2. reading this it sounds like you mean a sandwich grill?
                      for me panini is a type of bread
                      if you mean sandwich grill there are a million and one other uses...
                      this might be a case of translation issues...

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: kmh

                        I believe that panini has become a sort of colloquialism, that refers to sandwiches made in a press. I did specifically ask for variety in sandwiches. Of course if you are a purist, then yes, panini is a type of bread.

                        1. re: greenstate

                          Panini=sandwiches (panino=sandwich).

                      2. panini fries -- potatoes sliced 1/4" to 3/8", rubbed with olive oil, sprinkled with various seasonings

                        hash browns

                        warming up leftover meats without heating the kitchen up with the oven

                        warming tortillas

                        grilling/warming burritos

                        1. Thin slices of proscuitto, cantaloupe, and some kind of greens with a little Dijon mustard. Totally yummy.

                          1. Rosemary ham, lorraine swiss and pesto on each side of the bread! We don't put any oil/butter on the bread at all (non-stick press). In the past we have used an olive oil spritzer to add the yummy flavor of the olive oil.

                            Another favorite is proscuitto, vegetable tapenade and provolone - you can add pesto to that one too.

                            We always use fresh bakery bread (ciabatta or a flavored loaf like garlic or rosemary) - not packaged store bought slices.

                            Talk about a meal!!! We love our panini press!

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: gotvin

                              Tuna, black olive tapenade (sliced cured black olives will do) and olive oil!

                            2. Sliced mushrooms, roasted peppers, sliced zucchini, basil. And a cheese.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: rcallner

                                grilled eggplant
                                apple or pear and brie
                                dried apricots and sharp chedder
                                avocado and watercress
                                soo many options so little time

                              2. Pannini == peasant food
                                So the only rule is "go simple & fresh!"
                                (Fresh means that you do not own a refridgedeezer!)
                                If you want to be an Italian peasant, then you would use a little olive oil instead of butter. Your call, what's available?
                                Sliced tomato, a little left over cheese, freshly chopped parsely (from your own window box/garden), got some left over meat from yesterday? Slice it VERY thin and splash some on. Rub the bread with fresh garlic clove, toss in a little onion.
                                ENJOY!!! and do not over think it.

                                1. Homemade Olive bread buttered well on all sides to get that golden crunch.
                                  Top wtih slices of fontina, then grilled asparagus, and then more fontina.

                                  Thin steak sandwiches - steak cooked med rare, on rosemary foccaccia, with grilled onion, cheddar and red mustard.

                                  Tuna on foccaccia, with tuna salad made with homemade mayonnaise, onion, sweet relish, cheddar cheese,

                                  Mango Chicken sausage on sourdough rolls, with grilled red onion and red bell pepper with fontina, and Dijon mustard.
                                  These are all fun to pack up and take to a concert in the park. They keep nice and warm in my insulated bag for about 1hr.

                                  1. SHROOMS!
                                    one of my faves - Herbed goat cheese, carmelized onions (ok so I keep a thing of carmelized onions in the fridge at all times just like I do roasted garlic), arugula, mixed fresh shrooms, drizzle of balsamic.
                                    Of course I have a mushroom guy who loves to trade shrooms for wine (I'm a wine rep)

                                    The turkey and sweet potatoes one sounds awesome!

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: starlady

                                      I am going to try to use maple syrup with the turkey sweet potato combo next time, should add that sugary kick instead of cranberry sauce. it sure cant hurt to try!

                                      1. re: yankeefan

                                        Instead of cranberry, you can easily sub maple syrup and pecans, or try a mixture of brown sugar and butter.

                                    2. You need to make a peanut butter sandwich, whatever your fave combo is. Trust me.

                                      I like to grill "burritos" in there - I keep mine fairly light, just beans (plain or refried) and grilled veggies (thus the quote marks, I know it's not authentic), sometimes a little cheese.

                                      1. Spicy smoked turkey, bacon, havarti, sun-dried tomato pesto and a spicy mustard. Sometimes I'll add arugala and/or roasted red pepper.