With panini, there’s no need to overdo it. Decide on a theme and keep it simple.
By Ruby Moukli
The other day I was walking down the bread aisle (a dangerous place for me to be) when I spotted ready-made panini bread. And I remembered a recent visit with some friends in North Wales, whose fabulous mum made us panini for lunch before we hit the road to drive home. At the time I thought how much I love panini and wondered why I’d banished our grill to the back of the gadget graveyard cupboard. What on earth had I been thinking? Surrendering to the force of suggestion, I grabbed a pack of panini bread and dropped it into the shopping cart.
Back at home, I again wondered what on earth I’d been thinking. I had bought the bread but nothing to put inside it! By now I was desperate to get that grill going, so I raided the fridge and, luckily, came up trumps. Bell peppers, feta cheese, olives… yes, you see where I’m going with this. I also had a bit of shredded mozzarella left, which would make a nice ‘glue’ to hold it all together.
And that’s it. With panini, there’s no need to overdo it. Decide on a theme and keep it simple. My Greek theme was predictable enough – I always have bell peppers, feta and olives lying around – so now I’m wondering how I can mix things up a bit. Because, now that my grill is back on the countertop, it’s not going anywhere!
- 4 ready-made panini rolls
- ½ cup mozzarella, grated or sliced
- ½ cup feta cheese, sliced or crumbled
- ½ bell pepper (I used ¼ orange and ¼ yellow), sliced
- Handful (8-12) Kalamata olives, pitted and halved
- Pinch of oregano (Greek if you can get it)
- Oil for the grill
- Split your bread in half lengthways and sprinkle ½ the mozzarella over the bottom halves.
- Next add the feta, then peppers and olives. Finally, sprinkle with oregano and the other half of the mozzarella before putting the 'lids' on.
- Heat your grill and, once it's ready, brush it lightly with oil (top and bottom). Place a panino on it and close the lid. Grill for about 5 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and the bread is golden-brown.
- Remove from the grill, cut in half on a diagonal and wrap in a tea towel to keep warm while you repeat steps 3 and 4 with the other panini.
Curious about her British mother's seemingly bizarre love of cheese & onion sandwiches, Ruby moved to England and discovered an island full of people eating them. She now lives among them, works as a freelance writer and photographer and yes, occasionally enjoys a good cheese & onion.