August is National Panini Month, so it is the perfect time to grill up some of these much-loved sandwiches. While they have been a staple of Italian cuisine for decades, they are now found in almost every corner cafe and picnic basket around. If you’re trying to make panini at home, here are some tips to make them great!
The Grilling Method
Since the panini is a grilled sandwich the grilling method is very important. The most simple and effective method is to use a panini press since they were designed to make perfect panini. But they are also expensive. You can also grill the sandwiches in a pan or skillet, but this might take practice. The most important part of the panini is the crunchy, grilled outer bread, so remember to spray the bread with cooking spray or smear it with butter, olive oil, or even mayo so that it crisps as it grills.
The Delicious Fillings
While the panini is a hallmark of Italian cuisine, you are not limited to Italian meats or cheeses. Experiment with different types of bread and various fillings, including veggies. Don’t limit yourself to savory items either. You can use sweet fillings and it will still be a panini sandwich as long as it is grilled.
Flip The Bread
While you’re experimenting with ingredients, you will likely try slices of bread other than focaccia. If you’re trying to use round-topped bread, like baguettes, flip the rounded side in on the sandwich. This way, the grill presses against the soft, cut edge of the bread and the sandwich doesn’t roll away in the press.
Dry Out Wet Ingredients
No one likes a soggy sandwich, and Panini has a tendency to get soggy when you use really moist meats or veggies. This doesn’t mean that you can’t put a tomato or a piece of fish on panini. You just have to figure out how to contain the moisture. You can do this by opting of sun-dried tomatoes instead and by breading meat in breadcrumbs.
Add Greens Last
If you like greens on your sandwich but hate when they get wilted, this tip is for you. If you add the spinach or lettuce to the fillings before you grill the sandwich, you will definitely have wilted greenery. Instead, grill your sandwich, then open it up and stuff the greens in and enjoy!
LET BASTA PASTA TREAT YOU!
For more than 12 years, Basta Pasta has given Maryland diners delicious Italian food from local and fresh ingredients. Enjoy delicious pasta dishes, unlimited salad and breadsticks, and fine wine at one of our locations in Timonium, Fallston, Perry Hall, or Eldersburg. Contact us online or give us a call at the location-specific phone number listed here. Read our menu and be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter! If you don’t feel like going out, order our signature crab cakes online and enjoy delicious Basta Pasta from home!