Thursday, March 1, 2012

Bread & Cheese

Oh simplicity - sometimes I forget how wonderful you are and pass over you for something more extravagant. But don't worry I learn my lesson and come running back. Bread, cheese, veggies - that's it, that's all I need.

There's something so comforting, so relaxing and even quite indulgent about fresh grilled veggies, rustic bread and simple Parmesan cheese. There are nights when I want something that feels special yet doesn't involve a trip to the grocery store or much prep time. That's when I turn to panini - using up all the old veggies in the kitchen, taking scraps of cheese and putting that baguette to use.

A couple of tips to the perfect veggie panini
  • Grill the veggies separately until they have a tender bite
  • Use a mix of colors - hey, it just looks prettier!
  • Toast the bread first to create extra crunch (no more soggy panini)
  • I love adding something unexpected like sundried tomatoes, capers or a non-sandwich herb (sage, cilantro, etc.)
  • Create your sandwich first, smush (yes technical term!) down with your hands and then either use a panini press, grill pan or a a skillet. The smushing helps the panini stay in tact. If using a grill pan or skillet place another skillet on top with a bag of flour and you'll get the same effect.
  • Cut the panini in half so you can see all the flavors and colors melded together
Panini, glass of wine and your partner-in-crime nights are the best.

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