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.
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.