Tomato and Mozzarella Panini!

 

What’s not to love about tomato and fresh mozzarella panini?  I am crazy about cheese – not all kinds but most kinds of cheese and mozzarella is my absolute favorite.  Complemented with tomato, basil and balsamic vinegar it is a winner.  I tried a slight variation to the basic panini today – wanting to kick things up a bit I added slices of a long chili pepper (left over from Mirchi Ka Salan yesterday).  The heat from chili pepper went well with mozzarella…and the pepper was crunchy which worked well too.

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Ingredients:

  • Bread slices* – 8
  • Fresh mozzarella – 8 slices (I used an 8 oz ball)
  • Plum tomato – 1 sliced thick into 8 slices
  • Long green pepper – sliced into long strips
  • Basil leaves – 8
  • Salt to taste (sea salt is better)
  • Pepper
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Extra virgin olive oil

*Typically sourdough or ciabatta or any thick multigrain bread works well for this.  Bread needs to have texture and should be a little dense for panini sandwiches.  I used Flax seed and Quinoa bread

Method:

  1. Preheat a panini maker*
  2. Spray or brush one side of a slice of bread with extra virgin olive oil and place the bread with oil down on a clean surface
  3. Arrange two slices of mozzarella, tomatoes and peppers on the bread
  4. Drizzle a little balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper
  5. Place another bread slice on top and brush or spray the top with extra virgin olive oil
  6. Place the sandwich on the panini maker and cook for 3-5 minutes or until the cheese melts
  7. Let it cool down a bit (about 30 seconds) and slice it in half along the panini lines

*If you do have a panini maker then you can use a skillet.  Heat a heavy skillet over medium-high heat, and cook your sandwich for a couple minutes on each side while pressing it down with another pan or a big lid.

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