Dinner in Minutes: Paninis perfect choice for busy nights
A crisp crust enclosing warm, tasty fillings with melted cheese — no wonder paninis have become so popular.
Here's a quick dinner with almost no prep work for this busy time of year. The sandwich is filled with low-sodium ham from the deli, roasted red peppers, fresh basil and shredded sharp Cheddar cheese.
Or, if you prefer, Monterey jack, Swiss or a stronger cheese such as Gorgonzola can be used instead of Cheddar.
If you have a panini press, by all means use it. If you do not, I have given directions for making the sandwich in a saute pan.
Cook the paninis over medium-low heat so the insides will warm and the crust will be crisp and golden, not black.
Paninis are typically made with ciabatta, an Italian bread named for its slipper-like shape. You can use a large baguette, Italian sub roll or focaccia instead.
Complete the meal with a salad made by tossing 4 cups of ready-to-eat, Italian-style salad greens with 1 cup of torn, fresh arugula and 2 tablespoons of reduced-fat vinaigrette.
Believe it or not, pink meat goes with pink wine. Try a crisp, dry rose.
Linda Gassenheimer is a food writer for the Miami Herald. Write to her in care of Living, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, D.L. Clark Building, 503 Martindale St., Pittsburgh, PA, 15212, or email email@example.com.
Ham and Cheese Panini
1 small ciabatta (about 6 ounces)
Olive oil cooking spray
2 medium cloves garlic, crushed
6 ounces sliced, low-sodium ham
1⁄2 cup sliced, drained, canned roasted red peppers
1⁄2 cup reduced-fat sharp Cheddar cheese
Several fresh basil leaves
Cut two 2 1⁄2-inch pieces from the bread. Slice them open horizontally. Coat the top halves with the cooking spray and sprinkle garlic on top.
Place the ham on the bottom halves. Place the roasted red pepper over the ham. Sprinkle the cheese over the red pepper and top with 5 or 6 basil leaves. Cover with the top halves.
Heat a nonstick skillet large enough to hold both paninis over medium-low heat and coat with the cooking spray. Add the paninis and press them down with a lid. Saute for 3 minutes.
Turn the paninis over and press them with a lid. Saute them for another 3 minutes.
Makes 2 servings.
Nutrition information per serving: 492 calories, 19 grams fat (8 grams saturated), 75 milligrams cholesterol, 33 grams protein, 46 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams dietary fiber, 1,428 milligrams sodium
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Penn State coach fires offensive coordinator
- Police plan homicide charge for cop-killing suspect
- New Kensington man killed in North Buffalo crash
- Aliquippa wins 16th WPIAL title, ends South Fayette’s 44-game winning streak
- Funding highway bill atop Rep. Shuster’s agenda
- Central Catholic wins 5th WPIAL football title
- Four downs: Steelers might still be Adams’ best bet
- Man surrenders after standoff in Middle Hill
- Police officer fatally shot in New Florence; suspect in custody
- Zatkoff’s, Malkin’s heroics not enough as Oilers down Penguins in shootout
- Indiana Twp. liver transplant recipient, 2, takes steps toward normal life