TribLIVE

| Lifestyles


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Dinner in Minutes: Paninis perfect choice for busy nights

MCT
Here's a quick dinner for this busy time of year with almost no prep work. The sandwich is filled with low-sodium ham from the deli, roasted red peppers, fresh basil and shredded sharp Cheddar cheese. If you have a panini press, by all means use it.

Shopping list

Here are the ingredients you'll need for tonight's Dinner in Minutes.

To buy: 1 small ciabatta (about 6 ounces); 1/2 pound sliced, low-sodium ham; 1 jar roasted red peppers, 1 package reduced-fat sharp Cheddar cheese; 1 bunch basil; 1 bunch arugula; 1 bag washed, ready-to-eat Italian-style salad greens

Staples: Olive oil cooking spray, garlic, reduced-fat vinaigrette

By Linda Gassenheimer
Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2013, 7:06 p.m.
 

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 tribliving@tribweb.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

12 cup sliced, drained, canned roasted red peppers

12 cup reduced-fat sharp Cheddar cheese

Several fresh basil leaves

Cut two 212-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

Most-Read Stories

  1. Rossi: Johnston must reach Malkin in Moscow
  2. Review: Buffett keeps faith with fans on ‘This One’s for You’ tour
  3. Inmate wants confiscated cash back so he can hire attorney
  4. Steelers are in familiar territory going into training camp in Latrobe
  5. New Penguins coach to meet with Malkin
  6. Liriano, Snider lift Pirates to a victory over Dodgers at PNC Park
  7. Recalling 20 years of memories at Freeport Invitational
  8. Placement of public car chargers needs to be revved up, experts say
  9. Leechburg Area School District contracts with Pittsburgh firm for online database
  10. Stuff the Bus in East Franklin Saturday
  11. Pirates notebook: Recovering Cole exceeds expectations in simulated game
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.