We’re Cooking: Sandwich Night

The beauty of a sandwich is that you can mix and match pretty much any combination of flavors together between two slices of bread and have a taste treat…especially when that combo includes fresh mozzarella cheese, heirloom tomatoes and fresh basil, or smoked turkey, extra sharp cheddar and homemade pesto grilled until the cheese is super gooey. Here are two we made last week.


Extra Sharp Cheddar & Smoked Turkey with Fresh Mint & Spinach Pesto “Panini”

Ingredients: (for 2 sandwiches)
4 – 1/2 thick slices of your favorite smoked deli turkey
3 ounces of your favorite sharp cheddar cheese – we like Tillamook Extra Sharp White Cheddar
2 Chibatta rolls, or a good fresh onion roll
Good olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons fresh pesto – we used a fresh mint, spinach and walnut pesto pureed together with a squeeze of lemon juice, clove of garlic, salt and pepper and grapeseed oil

Assemble sandwiches by layering the pesto on the inside of one half of the Chiabatta, then fold two slices of turkey on top of the pesto and the cheese on top of the turkey.  Drizzle a bit of olive oil on the inside of the second half of bread and place on top of the cheese.  Make the second sandwich. Spread about 1/2 tablespoon of butter on the outside of the bottom half of each of the sandwiches and place on a hot griddle or grill pan.  Place a weighted skillet (we put a dutch oven inside the pan) on top of the sandwiches to weigh them down.  You could also just use a panini maker, buttering the top half of the sandwich also.  After about 4-5 minutes, when you see the cheese is starting to melt, remove the top pan, spread about 1/2 tablespoon butter on top half and flip.  Grill on the other side until the top half is toasted and cheese has fully melted.  Cut in half and serve.

Tomato, Mozzarella and Capicola Sandwich with Basil and Balsamic

Ingredients: (make about 6-8 sandwiches)
1 whole wheat Italian bread loaf
2 large vine ripe tomatoes
1 – 8oz fresh mozzarella ball
6 oz thinly sliced Capicola salami
2 oz fresh baby spinach or arugula
2 tablespoons fresh basil – julienned
1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons good olive oil
Salt and pepper

Slice bread in half diagonally, almost cutting all the way through but not quite.  Drizzle the inside of the bottom half of the bread with about 1 tablespoon olive oil. Layer the Capicola across the bread in one single layer.  Layer spinach on top of the salami, then the cheese, then the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper.  Sprinkle the basil evenly across the tomatoes and if you have any Capicola left top any remaining across the top layer.  Drizzle the inside top half of bread with the remaining olive oil and the balsamic and fold over and top the sandwich.  Slice and serve.