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You Don’t Need A Panini Press To Make This Quick, Savory Sandwich


Crisp crust, warm tasty fillings with melted cheeseno wonder paninis have become popular: here is a quick version filled with smoked turkey from deli, roasted red pepper, fresh basil and goat cheese. There’s almost no prep work. The sandwich can be assembled in minutes. You don’t need a special panini press. Simply place the sandwich in a skillet and press it down with a lid that will fit inside the skillet. Continue to press until the panini is cooked. Or, place another skillet over the panini to press it down and add a large can or other weight on top. Ciabatta bread is the typical bread used for a panini. Its Italian bread shaped like a slipper and takes its name from the Italian word for slipper. It’s long, wide and a little flat and perfect for sandwiches. You can use a large Baguette, Italian sub roll or Focaccia.

  • 1 Ciabatta bread (about 8 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, crushed, minced
  • ½ pound sliced low-sodium smoked turkey breast
  • ½ cup crumbled goat cheese
  • 5 or 6 fresh basil leaves
  • Olive-oil spray

Cut the bread into 2 pieces, 5 inches each, and slice them open lengthwise. Spread the olive oil on the top half and sprinkle the garlic over the oil. Place the turkey on the bottom half. Place the roasted red pepper over the turkey. Sprinkle goat cheese over the red pepper and top with 5 or 6 fresh basil leaves. Cover with the top half.

Heat a nonstick skillet, large enough to hold both paninis, over medium-low heat and spray with olive oil spray. Add paninis and press down with a lid. Sauté for 3 minutes. Turnover and press with a lid. Sauté for another 3 minutes. The cheese should be melted and the crust golden. Cook a few more minutes, if needed. Makes 2 servings. (Linda Gassenheimer, “Delicious One-Pot Dishes”, 11/2/16, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)

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