Some foods just taste better when they’ve been freshly made. Take the Pannini for example….
As an insurance agent, which is my day job (that I was told not to quit) I generally have lunch on the road. This past week I stopped at Panera’s in Lake Mary for a caprese pannini. Since it was after the lunch crowd had gone, I was informed that they’d have to make it fresh and that would take some time. So, that’s a problem? People, I have to tell you, it was the best darn sandwich I had in a long time. Fresh sun dried tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, fresh sliced tomatoes on grilled pannini bread — to quote the Campbell Soup kids, “umm, umm, good.”
Between clients last Thursday, I came across another exceptionally good pannini. Tony’s N.Y. Pizza and Restaurant in the Market Place Shopping Center, 864-36/34 Saxon Blvd., in Orange City, who made me an Italian Sausage with Spinach and Fresh Mozzarella pannini that is to die for. It was moist without being wet, each ingredient stood out by itself so you actually knew what you were eating. The sandwich comes with Italian Dressing, but I asked for it on the side. In my opinion, the sandwich didn’t need any added zing, it was flavorful enough on its own. For $6.95 – it was a bargain. Oh, did I tell you that the plate comes with a ginormous amount of French fries? Go to Tony’s, and order the sausage pannini, you won’t be disappointed.
Most of you who follow my column know that I bring in a little history to the recipe I am presenting. Well this one is no different. Only problem is I can not find much information on pannini’s,. All I could glean was that it may have started in 1955 – and pannini is the diminutive of pane, which is bread in Italian. Pannini is now associated with any grilled sandwich. I doubt highly that Italian painter Giovanni Paolo Panini (1692-1755) had anything to do with this yummy lunch time treat.
Today’s recipe is all about roast beef…
Roast Beef and Sun-Dried Tomato Mayo Pannini.
• 1/4 cup mayonnaise
• 2 tablespoons oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, minced
• 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
• pinch of cayenne
• 1/3 cup red onion, slivered
• 1/3 cup pickled sweet cherry peppers, sliced
• pinch of red pepper flakes
• 4 sliced sourdough bread, 1/2-inch thick
• 1/2 cup shredded provolone cheese (or slices)
• 6 ounces roast beef, deli-sliced thinly
1. In a bowl, combine mayonnaise, tomatoes, garlic, horseradish, and cayenne.
2. Mix well.
3. In a small bowl, toss onion, peppers and pepper flakes together.
4. Drizzle with some of the pickling juice from the peppers.
5. Let stand for 5 minutes.
6. Spread mayonnaise on both sides of the bread.
7. Sprinkle cheese, or lay slices then top with the roast beef slices.
8. Top roast beef with the pepper salad mixture.
9. Place other bread slice on top of pepper mixture.
10. Toast on both sides using a heavy skillet on top of sandwich as a weight.
11. Brush outside of bread with olive oil if needed
12. When first side is golden brown, flip reweight with skillet and finish toasting.