15 Minute Meals, Dinner, Recipes

Italian Panini

February 17, 2016

lenticularly There’s something about taking a sandwich, and squishing it inside of a panini press that just makes it so much more delicious. 

delusively The bread gets all crusty and warm and the insides get all melty and meld together so beautifully. They are just so much better than normal sandwiches! 

Bell This panini has three different kinds of meats smashed together with mozzarella cheese melting in every nook and cranny. The addition of sun-dried tomatoes gives it a subtly sweet kick that makes it totally irresistible. It would be so awesome to trash it up with some homemade pesto or a flavored mayonnaise. 

That’s the most fun part about cooking, though. You get to do what you want! If you despise tomatoes with every fiber of your being like Mr. T does, then you can leave out the tomatoes! Follow your heart. 

This Italian Panini is loaded with meat and melty mozzarella and sweet sun-dried tomatoes. It's a real winner!

So, I’ve been getting my produce lately from a program called, “Bountiful Baskets” and it is awesome. My grocery budget was getting out of control because I buy mostly (if not all) fresh food, so Famous Julie turned me to Bountiful Baskets to help supplement the cost.

Bountiful Baskets is a food co-operative that is able to deliver fresh fruits and vegetables to your area for much cheaper than you would get at the grocery store, but there is a catch… 

You never know what you are going to get in your basket. So, basically it’s like a cooking challenge with every box that I bring home. Sometimes I end up with stuff that I never would have bought at the store… which turns out to be a fun test.

This morning I failed that test. Miserably.

I came home with my basket last Saturday, it was filled with crisp spinach, juicy strawberries and ripened tomatoes. Deep down in the depths of the basket I had hidden the real threat…. beets.

BEETS? Who am I? Dwight Schrute? I don’t think I’ve ever actually tried a beet, so I took to Pinterest (where else?) to try and come up with some ways to use my newfound treasures. I found a very promising recipe in the form of a smoothie. I love smoothies! How could this go wrong?

Oh… it went wrong. SO WRONG.

I tossed in a banana, an orange, some raspberries, some strawberries, the raw beet and blended to my heart’s content. I excitedly popped the top off my blender to look at my creation. The color was GORGEOUS. It was the most beautiful bright pink you’ve ever seen.

Then I dipped my spoon in there. Vientiane Oh. My. Gosh.

I may as well have just opened my back door, gotten on my hands and knees and licked the dirty ground. It tasted like I had dumped ten cups of dirt in there and blended everything together. It tasted like I was ten years old again and my friends were daring me to eat a dirty earth worm.

I was confused… Many of the blogs I had perused had used the words, “kind of earthy” to describe beets, but I figured with all that other delicious stuff in there I could mask the flavor a bit.

If they meant, “kind of earthy” as in it tastes like you just cracked the earth in half like an orange and you were licking each slice of it, then yeah… It’s definitely kind of earthy. And no amount of strawberries in the world could cover up that crap. 

So… I think it’s safe to say that I am not the biggest fan of beets. To any of my neighbors who are reading this, if you do like beets, I have a couple of free ones here for you. First come first serve. After that description, please try not to beat my door down. Please make an orderly line outside when fighting over who gets to take these beauties home. 

This Italian Panini is loaded with meat and melty mozzarella and sweet sun-dried tomatoes. It's a real winner!

Italian Panini
Yields 1
This panini is loaded with meat and melty mozzarella and sweet sun-dried tomatoes. It's a real winner!
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Total Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
  1. 2 slices sourdough bread (or your favorite type of bread!)
  2. 1 tablespoon chopped sun-dried tomatoes
  3. 2 slices fresh mozzarella cheese (1/4 inch thick)
  4. 3 slices smoked turkey (from the deli section)
  5. 3 slices black pepper salami
  6. 6 slices pepperoni
  7. 1 tablespoon salted butter
  1. Spread sun-dried tomatoes on bottom slice of bread. Stack 1 piece of cheese, smoked deli turkey, salami and pepperoni. Top it with one last piece of mozzarella cheese and the top slice of bread. Butter the outsides of the sandwich and press into a panini press and cook for 5-7 minutes until the outsides are crisp and slightly browned and the cheese inside is melted. Enjoy immediately!
My Mom Taught Me To Play With my food http://playzwithfood.com/
This Italian Panini is loaded with meat and melty mozzarella and sweet sun-dried tomatoes. It's a real winner!

Don’t worry guys. These sandwiches are like one billion thousand hundred kajillion times better than any beet I’ve ever had. 

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  • Reply Erin @ Thanks for Cookin'! February 17, 2016 at 7:16 pm

    Hahahaha!! “Kind of earthy”!!! I love it. I’ve never worked with beets either and I think I don’t need to start anytime soon. LOL thanks for the giggle

    • Reply taythurston February 18, 2016 at 12:25 am

      I’m just saying… I know a lot of people crave dirt when they are pregnant… I’m seriously going to turn them in the direction of beets next time I hear someone is struggling with that. Thanks for visiting, Erin!

  • Reply Sam | Ahead of Thyme February 18, 2016 at 1:45 am

    Omg this looks delicious!!! Thanks for the recipe!

    • Reply taythurston February 18, 2016 at 7:04 pm

      Thanks, Sam!

  • Reply Rebecca February 18, 2016 at 2:43 am

    These look amazing, just look at that melty cheese!

    • Reply taythurston February 18, 2016 at 7:04 pm

      I can’t resist the melty cheese!

  • Reply Sarah - The Charming Detroiter February 18, 2016 at 3:35 am

    This looks incredible! I L-O-V-E sun-dried tomatoes – definitely going to have to try them on a sandwich. What a great idea!

    • Reply taythurston February 18, 2016 at 7:04 pm

      You’ll love it!

  • Reply Renz February 18, 2016 at 5:50 am

    Ahaha.. Yes beets are uhm something you have to get accustomed too. I probably use about a little knob of beet in my smoothie and that is just enough. Or it mixes nicely with milk.

    This panini though looks amazing!!

    • Reply taythurston February 18, 2016 at 7:04 pm

      Haha! Thanks for the tip! I’ll have to try that. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Reply Kristen February 18, 2016 at 6:55 pm

    oh my yum!!! I am always looking for new sandwich recipes!! my family would go nuts over this!

    • Reply taythurston February 18, 2016 at 7:05 pm

      They’ll love it! Thanks for stopping by!

  • Reply Becca March 23, 2016 at 2:06 am

    Made this tonight and it turned out great! Unfortunately, I had to substitute the mozzarella cheese with havarti which, I’m sure, makes a big difference. I felt like this was a little heavy. So next time I think I’d like to add some tomato and spinach. Perhaps some pesto for flavor. But Mmm…this is a good sammich!

    • Reply taythurston March 23, 2016 at 4:12 am

      Thanks, Becca! I used to think cheese was just cheese and then I learned how to cook and found out that different cheeses make a huge impact! It would be so dang good with pesto and tomatoes. Definitely going to try that!

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