The Perfect Panini

I never thought that I’d find the perfect paninis while I was living in Paris, but I did. My favorite place for paninis was MIA the last time I visited, but I found a way to recreate them at home. Solving the panini puzzle means enjoying delicious sandwiches any time I want. And once pesto came into the picture, I wanted.

Tomato-mozzarella paninis are my absolute favorite, but you can use whatever fillings you like. Chicken is great too! Just make sure you’re using some kind of cheese so the sandwich holds together.

The first ultimate secret to making the perfect panini is finding the right bread. You want the kind of bread that is partially baked but has to be cooked at home to bring on its crisp crust. The bread looks white and doughy before it’s baked. Trader Joe’s sells ficelles (thin baguettes) and ciabatta rolls this way. Slice your unbaked bread, and add in your panini ingredients. Make sure some of the cheese is touching each roll so the sandwich will stick together. The second ultimate secret is to spray the outside of the bread with vegetable oil before grilling it. This step helps the bread get nice and crusty brown.

Then, turn your panini press or grill pan on high and grill the paninis until they have nice lines and the cheese is melted. If you’re using a grill pan, press down on the sandwiches with a spatula or the bottom of another pan to flatten them. Enjoy these babies!

Shopping list:

  • The kind of bread that is partially baked, looks white, and needs to finish baking at home
  • Tomatoes
  • Mozzarella
  • Pesto
  • Cooking spray or vegetable oil
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