Sometimes out of nowhere it just hits you. That super intense craving for something so specific, and then you just can’t get it out of your head! This time for me, it was the memories of paninis in Rome that struck me, and all I could think about was fresh mozzarella, juicy tomatoes and refreshing basil between two pieces of salty ciabatta bread……I first tried to come up with a place where I could go to find this Italian inspired sandwich, but then I came up with the much better idea to make one myself.
First, the bread. I wanted a bread that was light and fluffy on the inside with a good crunch on the outside, with a bit of saltiness. That is what Italian bread is to me. I picked up a loaf of ciabatta from a local bakery that supplies the bread for my favorite Italian restaurant.
Beautiful. And the best part was that it made my car smell amazing on the way home.
I spread pesto sauce on one half and layered some fresh mozzarella slices on the other.
Next came the fresh tomatoes and beautiful green basil.
And for a little more saltiness, I added some slices of prosciutto.
Since I don’t have a panini press, I used the George Foreman. Maybe I didn’t wait long enough for it to heat up or something, but I didn’t quite achieve the level of melty-ness that I had in mind. However, I was actually quite pleased with the end result because the cheese still had that freshness to it that I think would have been lost if it was entirely melted.
So it was kind of hard to get a good closeup, plus I was hungry and SO ready to dig in. Just take my word for it that this was perfect and absolutely satisfied my craving.