But the problem was that my panini press went kaput awhile back.
Oh, I know I could have used a frying pan with a weight on top of the bread instead, but it’s just not quite the same, if you know what I mean.
Yup, De Laurentiis’ childhood panini that her mom used to make for her after school or as dessert. Imagine two slices of artisan bread smeared with raspberry jam, piled with milky mozzarella slices, a sprinkle of sea salt and a flurry of chopped fresh rosemary. The piece de resistance? Brown sugar sprinkled on the very top of each sandwich, so that when the sandwich goes into the panini press, it melts and caramelizes, forming a sugary, crisp crust. Now, you know why I’ve lusted after this sandwich.
It’s pure gooey comfort between two slices of bread. The sprinkle of salt and the fresh rosemary really make it special and keep it from verging into cloying territory. So, do not leave those two ingredients out.
I used slices of a sweet batard loaf and cherry jam, since a jar was already open in my fridge. I can see this working with a wide variety of jams and herbs: marmalade with fresh thyme or strawberry and tarragon, perhaps.
It makes for a decadent but deceptively simple breakfast or lunch.
Want to try making it, yourself? I’ll give you a hand:
Contest: One lucky Food Gal reader will win a Calphalon electric panini grill (valued at about $100). The panini grill features variable temperatures and grill heights to accommodate any size sandwich. The grates wipe clean easily after use, too. Entries, limited to those in the continental United States, will be accepted through midnight PST July 14. Winner will be announced July 16.
How to win?