Pepperoni and Fresh Mozzarella Panini

Friday, June 19, 2009

Our kids are finally done with school and we are officially in full summer mode... which of course means staying up too late, eating too many popsicles, and hanging out at the pool every evening. I have always had the hardest time getting very excited about cooking in the summer time, since all of my winter staples don't work very well in the summer. This summer is different though! I've been scouring all my cookbooks with new eyes trying to find fun, new recipes that I've overlooked in years past.

At first glance I thought this Emeril recipe looked like it would be too plain for my taste, but this time I noticed the combination of the olive oil, basalmic vinegar, garlic, and fresh basil and decided it was worth a try and boy, oh boy was I sure glad we did. With that ooey, gooey cheese and basalmic vinegar flavoring it; it was a hit with the whole family!

The recipe said it only made 4 sandwiches, but we easily got 7 big sandwiches out of it and had enough for a couple of us to have one for lunch the next day too. This would be a great recipe to have the kids help out with. They could brush on the oil mixture and arrange the cheese and pepperoni in preparation for an adult to do the grilling. Hmmm....Maybe summer cooking doesn't have to be so bad after all!

Click here for printable recipe. 

The ingredients:
The ingredients:
1/4 cup olive oil+ a little more for brushing the outside of the bread
1 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
2 tsp. minced fresh basil or 1/2 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/4 tsp. salt
Black pepper, to taste
8 slices ciabatta bread or other rustic Italian white bread, thinly sliced (we used ciabatta rolls from Costco which were quite thick, but still very good)
8 ounces fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
2 ounces thinly sliced pepperoni

Whisk olive oil, vinegar, basil, garlic, salt, and pepper in a small mixing bowl to blend. Set the vinaigrette aside.

Arrange the slices of bread on a flat work surface and using a pastry or basting brush, brush one side of each slice with the vinaigrette, dividing it equally.
Divide the mozzarella equally among 4 of the bread slices. Top the mozzarella with the pepperoni slices, then place the remaining 4 slices of bread on top of the mozzarella and pepperoni , to form 4 sandwiches. (We easily made 7 sandwiches out of this recipe).

Brush the outsides of each sandwich lightly with olive oil. Heat a large skillet or grill over medium heat. When the skillet is hot, add the sandwiches and cook until the bread is golden brown and the cheese is melted, pressing occasionally with a large metal spatula, 4-5 minutes per side. Serve hot. Makes 4-7 sandwiches.



Torie June 19, 2009 at 10:45 AM  

Wow! This is my dream lunch!!! I have to make this. I may have trouble finding that kind of bread where I live, but on my next trip to Amarillo I'll go to Market Street & get the fresh cheese & bread. I have fresh basil growing in my garden!

SnoWhite June 19, 2009 at 10:51 AM  

Those look amazing!! I might swap out the pepperoni for tomato on mine... yum.

MaRiN June 19, 2009 at 11:42 AM  

Yum, I love ciabattta bread! This looks one my family would love.

Katy ~ June 19, 2009 at 4:21 PM  

Ole Sweetie-Pi would love this!

Charlene June 19, 2009 at 7:54 PM  

Thanks for the great grill ideas!!

Coleens Recipes June 19, 2009 at 8:20 PM  

I love a simple sandwich that is full of "KA-POW!!" flavor. This looks perfect for any laid back fund day.

Heidi June 19, 2009 at 10:35 PM  

We love panini and I can't wait to try these out!

teresa June 20, 2009 at 9:37 AM  

Oh wow, I can practically taste the pepperoni and mozzerella with the balsamic vinegar. What a great idea, this looks fantastic!

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About This Blog

My name is Lara and while I'm definitely not a gourmet cook, I do love preparing tasty, healthy meals for my family. Finding new recipes to try and sharing the ones we've already fallen in love with is a passion I've had since college and the reason why I've started this blog! With five kids, I'm usually in a hurry, so you'll find most of these recipes kid friendly and simple to make.

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