Similar to so many conveniences in our lives – drive-thrus , the internet, individual sized ANYTHING – possessing a Panini maker is not vital to our survival.
Having one in your possession, experiencing the evenly melted cheese completely warmed through in between bread with perfectly pressed grill marks, is life changing…
or just meal changing. Either way, it is awesome.
And no two Panini need be the same! The combinations of bread, cheese, toppings, and sauces are limited only by the available contents of your fridge.
One of my vegetarian versions features a straight up cheese Panini that houses sharp yet creamy horseradish cheddar.
The second becomes slightly more complex. I swathed the inside of the bread with basil paste a la Gourmet Garden. Pesto would also work, or just fresh basil leaves. Then layers of Muenster cheese, artichoke hearts (from a can, rinsed and drained), sun dried tomatoes, and fresh spinach complete the creation.
Bearded husband man boy person did something creative involving black forest ham, capicola, pepperoni and pickles.
One of the best aspects of Panini is the interactive process of creating them.
We sipped on some Carolina Blonde from Foothills Brewing and Longboard Lager from Kona Brewing. Very different beers, but both are light and refreshing to balance against the warm, gooey Panini!