We’re so excited that August is National Panini Month that we spent half the month researching recipes. The Panini is truly the perfect sandwich because really, anything goes. The only thing that differentiates the Panini from a regular, run-of-the-mill sandwich is the bread. Any bread will do as long as it’s not pre-sliced. Popular breads used for Panini sandwiches includes ciabatta, baguette, and rosetta, but we’ve been known to use a loaf of good old-fashioned French bread cut into manageable lengths and sliced horizontally.
The Panini can be as fancy or as everyday as you want it to be depending on the ingredients you use. Deli meats and cheeses are often used, but we’ve seen Panini contain fruit, chocolate, and breakfast fixings before; so when we say anything goes, it really does! Serve them cold or grill them in your Panini maker (we’re sure you have one somewhere); either way, you can’t beat a Panini–especially this Pizza Panini we found via Parenting.com! [photo via parenting.com]
*4 small Italian rolls or 1 loaf French bread cut into four 3-inch pieces
* 1/2 cup bottled pizza sauce
* 1 cup shredded mozzarella or a blend (such as Kraft 5-Cheese Italian)
* 1 cup frozen chopped broccoli, thawed, or 16 slices pepperoni
* 4 tsp grated parmesan cheese
- Preheat indoor grill or grill pan. Split rolls in half.
- Spoon two tablespoons pizza sauce on half of each roll.
- Top each with 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella, 1/4 cup broccoli or 4 slices pepperoni, and 1 teaspoon parmesan cheese.
- Top with remaining bread.
- Place sandwiches on grill, cover, and cook them for 4 minutes–until cheese is melted.
- Cool slightly and slice on diagonal. Serve with sliced yellow or red peppers.
Tip: You can also cook Panini on a nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Place a smaller skillet on top of sandwich to flatten slightly. Cook two minutes, carefully flip, flatten, and cook two more minutes.
Feel free to dress these up with more of your favorite pizza toppings. Kids especially love this Panini recipe and can even help build the sandwiches before cooking. Recipe yields 4 servings.