Lately my mom has been very clingy, aka she has been requesting I prepare food for her. This comes as a major surprise for me as I always get into cat/dog situations with her because I like to hoard, and she (acts like) she doesn’t like to hoard. So when it comes to matters of the kitchen, I never hear the end of it whenever I restock the pantry.
And since we have a well-stocked kitchen, we decided to make a Panini Bar for dinner. You can literally pull off items and leftovers from the fridge to make this happen, but this is the ToT version of it. I love sandwiches and always complain that Manila needs to have a decent deli sandwich joint. Until that time comes, I’ll be making these with my Breville Panini Press.
Since you want to keep the freshness of the vegetables, all you need is some good olive oil (I used truffle oil to pair with my truffle cheese below) and some sea salt and pepper. Make sure you season well as the vegetables let some water out.
If you have time, it’s great to make your own balsamic vinegar cream. Balsamic tends to be watery on its own which makes the bread soggy. I like to get a little bit of balsamic vinegar (has to be from Modena!) and heat on low fire until it thickens and evaporates a bit. What you’re left with is a sauce-like consistency that has intense flavor which will heighten the vegetables even more.
If you have some bottled pesto in the fridge, go grab it and spread some on one side of the sliced batard. You can also make your own pesto if you are a purist, but if you’re literally pulling things from your fridge you can look for prepared sauces to liven up your panini.
To assemble, literally pile on the grilled vegetables on one side, making sure you get a bit of everything. If you think eating a vegetable sandwich seems like such a diet, you haven’t tried this yet.
Now if you want something heartier, a caprese with prosciutto panini is the BESTEST sandwich in the world. When I was living in Santa Monica, not a week went by that I didn’t indulge in this deli delicacy from Bay Cities. Here’s the main thing you need to have: beautiful paper thin slices of prosciutto di parma. You don’t need a lot since it has a very intense cured flavor, but once you start, you really can’t stop.
From bottom to top, layer some slices of roma tomato (roma is the type used in Italian cooking, not perfectly round, but red and bursting with flavor), arugula (for the peppery taste) and prosciutto di parma atop a slice of baguette with pesto.
Crack some fresh black pepper and top with balsamic cream spiked-bread. This is perfect at room temperature, so no need to heat up. And here you have, my favorite sandwich in the whole wide world. Like I said, you can literally get these things from your fridge, and just improvise with the sandwich components. I hope you try these two ideas out and let me know what you think.What’s your favorite sandwich and WHERE can I get some?