My husband got me a panini press/griddler from Cuisinart last Christmas. I’ve been using the little thing almost everyday, but not for paninis. Instead, I’ve been using it as an indoor non-stick grill and as a griddle for breakfast foods. I love it because it gets hotter than my old electric grill and adds perfect grill marks to food. I’m ashamed I haven’t tried out it’s panini press function for so long, but finally yesterday I decided it was time to test it out when I spotted some amazing ciabatta bread on sale in my grocer’s bakery.
I decided to have a vegetarian dinner for my family last night and picked up some big beautiful portabello mushrooms for our paninis. I also added fresh basil pesto, mozzarella, tomatoes and sweet vidalia onions to them. They were too good and so easy. They were even better than my favorite paninis from Panera.
Portabello Mushroom and Basil Pesto Panini
Sliced Ciabatta, or other sturdy Bread
4 portabello mushrooms, sliced
thinly sliced onion
fresh basil pesto (you can find a quick recipe here)
salt and pepper
1. Saute mushrooms in olive oil until tender over medium heat. Brush one side of bread with olive oil. Turn over and layer both pieces with mozzarella. Then add to one side a teaspoon of pesto, sauteed mushrooms, sliced onion and tomato. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and put sandwich together.
2. Grill in panini press until browned.
If you don’t have a panini press, see this post at Panini Happy for alternative ways of cooking a panini without a panini press.