Mediterranean Prosciutto, Red Pepper, and Pesto Panini!

As peppers continue to ripen in the garden and the heat of August lingers on, it seemed wise to simply make another sandwich.  The only heat involved when making sandwiches the Italian way is inside a panini grill.  There’s no heat from a stove or oven and there’s no outdoor 90+ degree heat to swelter in next to a grill!  I am truly a whimp when it comes to high heat without a swimming pool!

Last week I was inspired by the open-faced Ratatouille Sandwich prepared by Jessica of Kitchen Belleicious.  We’re both firm believers of recommending that you adjust recipes to make them more to your preferences.

Isn’t that part of the fun of cooking?  And that’s exactly what I did with this sandwich.

First of all, I am a very strange Italian in that I don’t care for eggplant.  It’s just all moosh to me!  Mr. M. and P. won’t touch eggplant either, so we were in synchronized culinary unison on that ingredient to substitute.  But similar to Jessica’s sammie, I stayed true to using Mediterranean flavors:  homemade pesto, prosciutto, roasted red peppers, and Italian Fontina cheese.  I also added sliced pepperoncini to give the sandwiches an extra kick!  I had a marvelous Tomato Focaccia bread on hand which made the sandwiches irresistible!  After layering everything, I sprinkled the top with freshly minced oregano picked from the herb garden.

In a previous post, I roasted red peppers and yet in another post I marinated red peppers in a balsamic-olive oil-caper mixture.  Since the peppers stay fresh in the frig for a week or two, I had a few left over to use in this sandwich.  Bill and I always look for ways to use up everything that we’ve previously made so nothing is wasted.

As the sandwich sizzled inside the panini grill, the aroma from the melting cheese, pesto and balsamic vinegar was intoxicating!  We couldn’t wait to bite in and savor.  The flavors are once again powerful and wonderful.  This is not your ordinary bland sandwich.


Above:  Pesto on the top left, beautiful fresh prosciutto on the right.  
Marinating roasted red peppers on the lower left and the sandwich grilling in the panini press on the lower right.  

Just before grilling and pressing, the sandwich looks huge!

Prosciutto, Red Pepper, and Pesto Panini
Pre-heat a panini grill to high.
Focaccia bread – use your favorite flavor combination; cut into sandwich sizes and then slice each horizontally in half.
Layer the bottom half with basil pesto.
Layer next with thinly sliced red onions.
Layer next with the roasted red peppers.
At this point, add some capers if you don’t have the original marinade.
Layer next with the Fontina cheese (grated or sliced).
Layer next, sliced Italian pepperoncini.
Pile on 3 to 4 thin slices of prosciutto.
Sprinkle with minced oregano.
Cover with the top half of the foccacia.
Place the sandwich on a hot panini grill.
Slowly press down the top of the panini grill.
Grill on high for about 5 minutes or until cheese melts.

After grilling on the panini press, everything blends together for a toasty treat!

Our beautiful “Mowee” checking out the peppers from the garden.
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  1. says

    Now, that’s what I call a sandwich Roz. I love peppers (we call them capsicum). I’m about to make some silverbeet pesto this week so I’ll think about making this sandwich.

    Anne xx

  2. says

    OK, Roz, you’ve just convinced me to buy a panini maker (not like I need much of an excuse to head to Wms-Sonoma or Sur la Table!). This sandwich is so full of my favorite flavors…I could eat it for breakfast!!!

    Yeah, I get up at 5:45 each morning…my youngest is a senior in high school and I like to see him off each morning. He’ll be gone next fall…sniff, sniff…

    Darling photo of Mowee :)

  3. says

    Roz my friend this looks absolutely intoxicating. I LOVE the new additions you added, especially your own marinated red peppers- GENIUS and the Italian pepperoncini! I am drooling on my screen and thinking I need to do your version of the sandwich soon- like tonight for example:) It truly looks amazing but doesnt surprise me because you are such an amazing cook! Thanks for the shout out in the post and Looking forward to trying this soon!

  4. says

    Roz – You are killing me with these roasted ripe pepper posts – the sandwiches look spectacular and I should have my second flush of ripe peppers soon.

  5. says

    I love the sammi just cant get past that gorgeous baby! We just found a stray kitten in a garbage can today, and am nursing it back to health… tuxedo kitten, we have two other cats already I just love them! Your baby is gorgeous! A lucky home for this kitty! love the food here and the loving family !

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