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Love panini? Make them at home--no press required

By Jessie Price, April 1, 2009 - 4:36am

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About 15 years ago I was at a small café in Rome with my sister. I ordered a sandwich with prosciutto, cheese and tomatoes. They pressed it. It was my first panini. I needed more. I was in love. Thankfully, since then the panini has made it big here in the U.S. You can get them at local delis, the airport and if they’re not there already, they’ll certainly make it to your favorite donut shop soon.

They’re also super-easy to do at home. I make them for a quick dinner. The Southwestern Cheese Panini in this picture is one of my favorite combinations. It includes shredded carrots, zucchini, salsa, cheese and the crowning touch….pickled jalapeños. And I always have tuna on hand so I often make our Mediterranean Tuna Panini and serve it with my favorite green salad on the side. And if I’m feeling ambitious I slice up some potatoes (with the skin on to get the fiber and potassium) for oven fries.

Of course if you love panini as much as I do, you should just head right down to your local kitchenware store and pick up a press. (I really love my Breville—it’s heavy-duty and heats up nicely. I also have the less expensive Emeril brand press, which you can take apart and throw in the dishwasher.)

But owning a panini press may not be your top priority at the moment. So, the good news is we have an easy technique for making your own press at home, with just two skillets and a couple of cans of beans (or soups or whatever you have on hand). Here’s how to do it in 3 easy steps. See our Quick Panini Technique »

TAGS: Jessie Price, Food Blog, Dinner, Family meals, Kitchen tools, Lunch, Quick meals, Recipe Makeover

Jessie Price
Jessie Price is the editor-in-chief of EatingWell magazine. Besides her work on 11 other EatingWell books, she is the author of the James Beard Award-winning The Simple Art of EatingWell and EatingWell One-Pot Meals. She lives in Charlotte, Vermont where she stays busy growing her own vegetables in the summer and tracking down great Vermont food products when she’s not working.

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